There are many men around the world who feel trapped in their bodies. They think like a woman, feel like a woman, and want to develop physical characteristics like a woman. Cross dressers, transgenders and transvestites are looking for ways that will make them more feminine than masculine. There are many things that will help a man develop a female body, like sex change operations. Before one tries out something so drastic, male-to female-hormone therapies are used as the first step towards womanhood.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (Male to Female)
Hormone replacement therapy is an important procedure that helps in gender reassignment of a man into a woman. There are certain natural hormones that are specific to a woman's body. These hormones affect her fertility, ability to reproduce and breast development. There is some amount of female hormones present in men too. But these hormones have very little to negligible effect on the male body. When a man is given female hormones, his body will undergo changes like an adolescent girl going through puberty.
Estrogen is the 'female sex hormone' that is taken by most of the transsexual 'male-to-female' women. This hormone is produced by the ovaries in women and in very small quantity by the testes present in men. Estrogen helps in development of fuller lips, thinner facial skin, longer hair, and the body shape becomes full of curves as in a female body. This hormone as helps in development of the breast, broadening of the pelvis and increases the fat deposits around the hips. Men develop softer skin and develop more feminine looks. Estrogen also lowers testosterone levels in the body, thus, reducing masculine features and enhancing feminine characteristics.
There are two types of estrogen hormone available for hormone therapy. This includes synthetic estrogen and natural estrogen. The synthetic ones are cheaper than the natural hormones. In most cases, when used as female hormone therapy, one requires a doctor's prescription. Formulations available include injectable, implanted, nasal, oral, gel, sub-lingual, spray and transdermal patch.
Another important male-to-female hormone is progesterone. Progesterone is secreted by the placenta and the corpus luteum. It prepares the body for pregnancy and helps maintain the pregnancy until childbirth. This hormone is very important as breast development is stimulated by estrogen, but full maturation takes place only if progesterone is present. Mammary glands develop in an individual, thus completing the male breast enlargement process. It also helps in improving skin elasticity and nerve tissue.
Progesterone is administered along with estrogen. This helps in reduction of the risk of fibrosis, cancer and cysts. Prescription progesterone hormones are based on chemicals that have progesterone-like actions. Formulations are available in form of sublingual, oral, gel and injections.
Effects of Female Hormones on Men
There are many pros and cons related to hormone replacement therapy. If one takes male to female hormones pills, one will need to sacrifice many male characteristics in order to gain a few female features. Female hormones for men cause many significant changes in a man's body. Their effect causes men to grow to female characteristics just like an adolescent girl during puberty. Let us have a look at some of the effects of female hormones on men.
Once estrogen in administered into a male body, it will lead to growth of breasts. The skin will become softer, smoother, may be acne free. One will develop softer feminine looks and lesser facial and body hair. However, there are a few other effects of female hormones on men.
One may find their testicle size shrinking. They may develop mood swings and lose interest in sex. The body fat starts developing like in a female body. The fats begin to get stored in the hips and thigh region instead of the stomach. The nipples will become painful and very sensitive. This happens as the hormones cause the nipples to become large, like in women. The nipples itch and any slight touch may cause extreme pain.
Progesterone levels in the body will cause the sperm count to go down to zero. The testicles reduce in size. Testosterone levels go down and this causes the testicles and sperm count to reduce. One may feel more hungry than usual and eat more. This may cause unexpected weight gain in men.
Other than these changes, estrogen side effects increase the risk of developing male breast cancer. Risk of liver cancer, gallbladder diseases and blood clots also increases. A few men develop depression as they undergo different physiological as well as psychological changes. Some get hot flashes and other symptoms experienced by a woman undergoing menopause. Most of these effects are reversible once the male to female hormones are stopped. However, enlargement of breasts, nipples, areolae are irreversible and permanent.
One needs to weigh all the consequences and changes in lifestyle before trying out this therapy. Many transgender and transvestites have found male to female hormones to be the first step in their gender reassignment process.