Monday, April 03, 2017

Cross Gender Hormones

What do they do to us?

A new study coming out of the Netherlands looked at breast development.
Breast development modest with cross-sex hormonal treatment in transgender women
Healio Endocrine Today
By Amber Cox
April 2, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. — Breast development in transgender women treated with cross-sex hormonal therapy occurs primarily in the first 6 months of administration and stabilizes with no increase during the last 6 months, according to research presented here.

Christel JM de Blok, MD, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated 288 transgender women (median age, 28 years) from the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence to determine the effect of 1 year of cross-sex hormonal treatment on breast development.

After 1 year of therapy, mean breast-chest difference increased from 4 cm [1.6”] at baseline to 7.5 cm [2.9”]. Development occurred primarily during the first 6 months of therapy and then stabilized, with a growth of only 0.4 cm over the remaining 6 months. Breast development was not modified by age, weight change, serum estradiol levels or estrogen administration route.
Yikes! That is not much growth; I always thought they said we would be slightly less than our mother’s.
“Increasing estrogen dosage will most likely not enhance feminization, but will increase the risk of side-effects. There are transwomen who report an anecdotal improved breast development, mood or sexual desire with the use of progesterones, but there have been no well-designed studies of the role of progesterones in feminizing hormone regimens, so the question is still open. Many transwomen are eager to start with a maximal dosage of estrogens, but a step-up dose regimen could improve results,” he said.
Not good news.

Before I transitioned I started off with a low dose of progesterone but stopped after 12 months because my doctor didn’t want me on it any longer, he worried about the increased the risk of side-effects over the long term. There is an increased risk of DVT with progesterone. I did have one interesting side effect with progesterone; I started lactating! It freaked me out when a whitish liquid started coming out of my nipples and I got a couple of “white heads” on my nipples. I first discovered it in the bathroom at work when I was washing my hands, two little wet spots on my shirt. I called my endo and he said it was due to the progesterone and the white heads were plugged milk ducts.


Lucy Melford said...

Oestragen, not progesterone, will give you serious breast development that shows up in your basic shape. Progesterone may add a ready-to-breastfeed look to the nipple area because it develops milk duct tissue and also darkens the nipples. Some will recommend you use both hormones. I personally confined myself to oestragen on doctor's advice. In any case, I didn't want to grow redundant tissue with the progesterone that could only add to whatever breast cancer risk there might be.


Anonymous said...

A twelve month study? Female puberty takes 5 to 10 years to complete.

I bought a nightdress when I was about 6 months on HRT. It was for a small-breasted woman and was cut accordingly and I did not manage to fill it. Now, after 3 years I completely fill it.

Growth spurts can happen in years 2 and 3. They will not be as big as the initial growth and it is more "sideways" across the chest rather than "forwards" and away from the chest.

After three years I have a 5" (12cm) difference between my breast and my underboob measurement. I will always be a smaller breasted lady but since I am slim the look suits me.

I always remember the advice of one Doctor who said "If you want bigger boobs, eat more pies". Breasts are mostly fat ...

Anonymous said...

Diana, this was discussed on Reddit. There's more to the story.


Coline said...

Six, seven years down the line, I loose count, I still get occasional growth spurts. So glad that I never went down the enhancement path early on...