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Home | News | Transgender Hormone Testing-female to male

Study shows hormone therapy safe for transsexuals

Category: Transgender Hormone Testing-female to male

A growing number of individuals in the U.S. are identifying as transgender - meaning that although they are biologically one gender, they truly feel as though they were supposed to be born the opposite. Some of these people may choose to undergo hormonal therapy to help them change their sex, and they may need blood tests and lab tests to help them check their hormone levels on a regular basis.

Recently, researchers from Ghent University Hospital in Belgium found that hormonal therapy for transgender, or transsexual individuals as they are sometimes known, is safe and effective for those who are looking to change their gender.

"Although transsexualism remains a rare diagnosis, the number of trans persons seeking hormonal or surgical treatment has drastically increased in recent years, making a detailed multicenter description on the effects of cross-sex hormonal treatment timely," said study lead author Katrien Wierckx, M.D. "Our study gives valuable information about the effects of drastic changes in sex steroids on glucose and lipid metabolism, cardiovascular and bone health, so that we can inform our future clients, their families and other caregivers more accurately on the desired effects, side effects and adverse events of cross-sex hormonal treatment."

Making safe changes
To come to their conclusions, the researchers examined 45 transsexual men and 42 transsexual women over the course of one year while they were taking hormonal therapy. The female-to-male participants were given testosterone, while the male-to-female participants received a combination of anti-androgen treatment and a form of estrogen.

The researchers found that for female-to-male individuals, the effects of the hormones included changes in their voice, heightened sexual desire as well as an increase in body hair, acne, lean tissue and muscle. Male-to-female participants reported experiencing more emotional behaviors, a decrease in sexual activity and increased fat tissue. There were no major health issues reported from either group.

The researchers explained that along with showing that hormonal therapy can be safe for individuals looking to change their gender, it also suggests that it may be safe for those with other medical issues that could be treated using hormones. This includes women with hyperandrogenism and men with prostate cancer.

According to the American Psychological Association, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how many transsexual individuals there are in the world because there may be many out there who have not yet come out. However, it's clear that in the past few years more people have been changing their gender, and this recent research shows they can do so safely.

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