Which changes were you most looking forward to?

The most appealing aspect of Cross Sex Hormone Therapy (CSHT), or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was the relief from the most common symptoms of Gender Dysphoria.

Are there any changes you weren’t sure about?

Almost everything else. There was a pretty solid chance my gynecomastia would flare up, and there weren’t any guarantees the Doctor would find the right balance to help.

What medical care do you need to monitor for side effects?

I need periodic labs to test things like my metabolism, testosterone, estradiol, and LH/FSH. Other than that, periodic self checks, and annual physicals for basic health.

Who will provide this?

My primary doctor orders most of the labs I need, my endochrynologist orders my hormone checks. I mark on my calendar when I need to take care of the rest.

If you experience side effects, what will you do?

It depends entirely on the side effect. Hot flashes mean there was a dramatic let down in my estrace or a sudden spike in testosterone. That would require a blood test, and a possible medication change. For mood swings, I mainly need to stop and allow my body to relax for a minute. Then, I’d need to visit my doctor to make certain there’s not anything deeper wrong.

Are there any side-effects you were particularly concerned about?

Not really, no. I’d done my research beforehand.

How do you feel about the permanence of some effects of hormones, including the possibility of permanent sterility?

That’s a pretty serious thing to stop and think about. If there were any doubts that Crystal and I were done having children, I wouldn’t have even considered this treatment as an option. Other than that, I already suffer from severe gynecomastia, so there’s not much to worry about.

The long-term effects of cross-sex hormones are not yet known. How do you feel about taking this risk?

I’m hoping that as I discover more and more about balancing my life, I’ll be able to taper off of things with the help of my endocrinologist. I already have plans to get off of two thirds of the medication thanks to changes in my lifestyle and diet.

So you took hormones until your breasts were the size you wanted?

That’s not how that works. My body only grew what my chromosomes told it to. The idea that taking more or less medication affects your body like that is dangerous. You should NEVER try and alter your body needlessly, but especially not with hormones.