Hormone Replacement Therapy In Transgendering The Ftm Transsexual

1907 words - 8 pages

Hormone Replacement Therapy in Transgendering the FTM Transsexual

Gender may well be the most defining factor in the spectrum of elements that comprise the human persona. In fact gender is so basic to our identity, most people mistakenly assume that our sense of being male or female is defined with absolute certainty by our anatomical sex. Contrary to popular belief, our sense of gender and anatomical sex are two distinct elements; each developing at different times in different parts of the body. While my research is limited to hormone replacement therapy involved in masculinizing a biological female, it should be noted that the psychiatric, psychological, and medical factors that contribute to cases of gender dysforia are major areas of concern in its treatment. The general goal of psychotherapeutic, endocrine, or surgical therapy for persons with gender identity disorders is lasting personal comfort with the gendered self in order to maximize overall psychological well-being and self-fulfillment.

Introductory Concepts

The Syndrome
Transsexualism is a Gender Identity Disorder (GID) in which there is a strong and on-going cross-gender identification (a desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex). There is a persistent discomfort with his or her anatomical sex and a sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex. There is a wish to have hormonal treatment and surgery to make one's body as congruent as possible with one's psychological sex.

The currently accepted and effective model of treatment utilizes hormone therapy and surgical reconstruction and may include counselling and other psychotherapeutic approaches. In all cases, the length and kind of treatment provided will depend on the individual needs of the patient and will be subject to negotiation between the consultants involved.

Overview of Hormone Replacement Therapy for the FTM Transexual

Fundamental to sex reassignment treatment of transsexuals is the acquisition of the sex characteristics of the other sex to the fullest extent possible. With the exception of the internal and external genitalia, sex characteristics are contingent of the biological effects of the respective sex steroids. Hormonal reassignment has therefore two aims: 1) to eliminate, in so far as possible, the hormonally induced secondary sex characteristics of the natal sex and 2) to induce those of the new sex.

Biologic females treated with testosterone experience the following permanent changes: a deepening of the voice, clitoral enlargement, mild breast atrophy, increased facial and body hair and male pattern baldness. Reversible changes include increased upper body strength, weight gain, increased social and sexual interest and arousability, and decreased hip mass.

Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Hormones are long-range chemical messengers of the body, manufactured and controlled by the endocrine system. The hypothalamus produces...

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