What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

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Disclaimer– This post is merely for awareness, for an informed opinion on Hormone Replacement Therapy. Please consult an endocrinologist.

Hormones are chemicals that are synthesized by specialized glands called endocrine glands.. They act as messengers- sending messages from one part of the body to another telling them how they should work to regulate the activity of certain cells and organs. They control bodily functions like hunger, growth, sex drive, metabolism and much more.

Sex Hormones are responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics in a person’s body as soon as they hit puberty. There are three types of sex hormones in human body

Androgens are a group of sex hormones like testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone. Estrogens include estradiol, estriol and estrone. And, Progestogens like progesterone.

Generally , all the sex hormones are present in every body in varying quantities. Usually, in people assigned male at birth (AMAB) androgens are in a higher quantity than people assigned female at birth (AFAB) and vice versa. .Usually, those of us who are dysphoric may change the level of sex hormones in their body which would result in a change in the muscle mass, fat distribution, voice pitch etc. All of this could hence, help the person orient their body towards their desired gender identity.

To develop more masculine physical and emotional characteristics one may consult an endocrinologist to start using androgens to make their bodies feel more “masculine”. While to develop physical and emotional female characteristics one could use estrogens to get a more
feminine body. This process of trying to alter hormonal makeup to match the gender you most identify with is known as Cross gender HRT or Cross gender Hormone Replacement Therapy.

HRT is a major decision in life and could be the source of relief and bodily autonomy but before stepping into a comfortable body- it is important to consult a psychiatrist and an endocrinologist. A psychiatrist will be helpful in providing a gender-dysphoria certificate, which might take about 6 months to get. On the basis of gender dysphoria certificate you may consult any trans friendly endocrinologist of choice to guide through the HRT process.

Self-medicating because of the gap in the healthcare system could result in dire consequences. It is always advisable to consult an expert. HRT is a complex process but under the guidance of a trans friendly endocrinologist this could
provide the necessary steps to ensure that we find peace in our bodies.


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