Saturday, 9 August 2014

A hormonal update

I feel it a good time to update on how the hormones have changed me as I am now at the 1 year mark of being on them. I knew this was always going to be a slow part of my journey and after much research I need to accept that some changes could take as much as 5 years. Also getting beyond GRS helps a great deal with some changes due to the body not having to suppress testosterone any longer. 

I wrote a recap in May about how I was doing and borrowed the format from that.

Breast size and shape

This is by far the biggest recent change. They had a brief surge initially, stood idle for a good 6 months but then decided to really grow from about the 9 month mark. The last 3 months have seen me add a size at least and I am now moving to a full C cup. These are not properly developed breasts, they do not have the correct shape or nipple development. I am estimating that I am moving through Tanner stage 3. An explanation of the stages of breast development can be found at (note that page does pop up an advertisement when you click anywhere on the page). It is a very informative piece on breast growth in trans women and tells more truth than some of the professionals have told me.

My breast are constantly sore and this follows a pattern of intense soreness about 4 hours after application on my hormones. This tends to last all day and only seems better first thing in the morning. If I feel the breast, I can feel that the tenderness is a lump behind the nipple that extends into the breast itself. This suggests that there is good development of the milk ducts internally which will help build into a decent sized breast. 

I have now invested in some D cup bras with no padding whatsoever. This makes for a much more natural shape and "bounce" and although I am a little small for that size, it means I can grow into it without having to keep buying new bras every 3 months. I have also had to invest on a set of sports bras for running, these are not cheap by any means but vital because without them it would be painful.
Hair changes

My body hair seems unchanged since the last time I wrote. Evidence suggests it can take 5 years for body hair to change in a trans woman. It is also the wrong time of year to try to gauge any changes as body hair grows quicker in the summer months. Evidence suggests this is down to UV levels and the body growing the hair to protect the skin. I will reassess this in December and compare it to last year.

My head hair is still thickening. The hair that I had pre-hormones is still there but has moved much further down now, to be replaced by a much thicker type of hair. My thin spot on the top of the scalp is nearly gone and I am getting regrowth on my forehead. It's only a very small amount, but you can see it growing under the fringe. The fringe itself is much thicker and takes a lot less effort to spread over my forehead.

My facial hair has stayed at the slower pace that it was a few months ago and I don't think there will be much improvement. I have to accept it is going to be electrolysis all the way.

Skin changes

My skin is still as soft as it was a few months ago and I don't feel there will be much more change in this area.

Body fat distribution

Massive changes in this department although I have lost nearly 5 stone in weight this year which is making for a completely different body shape entirely. My hips are much fuller and rounded along with a well improved arm, shoulder and leg shape. My arms in particular look feminine, with smaller hands and fingers. My posture has also changed, I stand in a better way and I walk differently.

Facial shape change

I reported a few months ago how dramatic the changes have been in my face shape. This has increased although as with my body changes, much of it is down to the significant weight loss.

One major change is that a few days ago, Mandy (my partner) decided again to tell me I didn't need wear makeup. We have had this conversation many time, but this time I looked in the mirror and decided that she may for once be right. It was actually on a Wednesday, when I had 3 days of hair growth for electrolysis and it was hardly noticeable. I put it to the test on Thursday and just pencilled in my eyebrows (as they don't match my hair colour) and a little mascara. A few hours in town suggested no difference in the looks I was getting. There were the usual few but no more or less than usual. Often the looks are not sinister and are just people looking at me for who I am. This is a major milestone, and whether it was the physical changes or confidence, I am just not sure. It's good either way!

Emotional changes

This has changed a little since the last update, but not a great deal. Somewhere about the 9 month mark, I found I reached a kind of contentment with my emotions. This was actually hard to explain, but I felt I had arrived with at the end of my journey within myself. I still have some physical changes to complete (surgical and hormonal) but in my mind I am 100% a woman. This has helped me through the difficulties of the last few months because it felt like a euphoria of a kind and gave me a feelgood boost that was quite unexpected.

On the downside, I am more prone to low mood and this has to be very carefully monitored. I am not overly concerned as yet, but there is a tendency to let my emotions get the better of me. I can burst into tears for little reason, but I am convinced that this is a transient issue and down to circumstances out of my control at this time.

Sexual function

Clever readers will note that this wasn't here last time! There was a reason for that, there was simply nothing to write about. The initial hormonal transition destroyed my sex drive completely, it was not an issue and it was quite a relief not to be dominated by it. The last couple of months has seen an interest in this, not testosterone fueled as in the past but an increased feeling of wanting something physically in this department.

I decided to explore this and although it is strange to be using the (now) wrong parts, I have found with intense relaxation and time, I can actually get to orgasm. I need to completely block out everything around me, and just go for it. The end result is completely different to before, in fact there is little comparison. Prior to my hormonal development, orgasm was centered entirely around the groin area. Now it starts there but radiates both ways to the tips of my toes and to my breast area. As well as this, there is an intense feeling in my head, it's very hard to explain but when I have talked to cis-women about this, they say that mirrors there experience. In fact one woman found it hard to understand how pathetic a male orgasm was compared to this! They assumed men experienced the same as a woman, but having had both, it is like 10/10 compared to a 1/10 as a man! An added bonus is there is no ejaculate whatsoever, so no mess!