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Hey Lovelies)!

This is me. Estrogen hasn’t done much for my curves so I’ve still got a straight body and wide shoulders but today, I made my first dress!
It’s a pretty simple design but I’m really proud of it. I’m trying to get into fashion design and I’m signed up for a class!

Hopefully I can start designing clothing specifically for trans girls like me. I have a few posts in my queue of trans related clothing and resources and ideas to add to the support on my blog, so come check it out!

Estrogen updates with selfies should be updated more regularly:) Stay Sexy Freaks<3

-Vanessa

What’s the secret ingredient for a successful film? Estrogen –> http://voc.tv/1cKyE7Z

Dear Hollywood: we know how you can make more money in 2014.

Put more women onscreen.

We analyzed the top 50 biggest box office movies of 2013 to see if they passed the Bechdel Test, which evaluates whether a movie has two or more women in it who have a conversation about something other than a man. It’s named after cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who wrote about it in her popular comic Dykes To Watch Out For (Bechdel actually credits her friend Liz Wallace with the rule).

Continue

So next week I need to get my estrogen refilled, my rent is due, and I’m going to be out of food  soon. It’s $70 for the ‘script, and I already owe money to my mom and I’m also having a hard time eating and getting to work because of money issues. I’ve already sold everything I can do without. In the long term, I’m going to be moving back in with my mom in July, but for now I need some help getting by. If you can help me by donating, or by signal boosting I’d really appreciate it. My paypal is mariathecoder@gmail.com, and I have a donation link <here>

Hormone Rich foods

Can’t afford testosterone or can’t take it because of parents? I know how that goes. I thought I’d find a list of foods rich in testosterone so we can at least get some of the hormones we desperately need!

  • brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • eggs (especially hard boiled)
  • asparagus
  • raw oysters
  • bananas
  • brown rice
  • pine nuts
  • lean beef
  • beans
  • poultry
  • cottage cheese
  • garlic
  • avocados
  • salmon
  • almonds
  • figs
  • yogurt
  • oats
  • nuts

some estrogen rich foods, if you’re trying to go the other way are

  • flax seeds
  • tofu/soy
  • multi-grain
  • dried fruit
  • Beets
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • peas
  • peppers
  • potatoes and yams
  • pumpkin
  • squash
  • garlic
  • eggplant
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • cherries
  • plums
  • pomegranate
  • papaya
  • rhubarb

Menstrual Cycle Influences Concussion Outcomes

Researchers found that women injured during the two weeks leading up to their period (the premenstrual phase) had a slower recovery and poorer health one month after injury compared to women injured during the two weeks directly after their period or women taking birth control pills.

The University of Rochester study was published today in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. If confirmed in subsequent research, the findings could alter the treatment and prognosis of women who suffer head injuries from sports, falls, car accidents or combat.

Several recent studies have confirmed what women and their physicians anecdotally have known for years: Women experience greater cognitive decline, poorer reaction times, more headaches, extended periods of depression, longer hospital stays and delayed return-to-work compared to men following head injury. Such results are particularly pronounced in women of childbearing age; girls who have not started their period and post-menopausal women have outcomes similar to men.

Few studies have explored why such differences occur, but senior author Jeffrey J. Bazarian, M.D., M.P.H. says it stands to reason that sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which are highest in women of childbearing age, may play a role.

“I don’t think doctors consider menstrual history when evaluating a patient after a concussion, but maybe we should,” noted Bazarian, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry who treats patients and conducts research on traumatic brain injury and long-term outcomes among athletes. “By taking into account the stage of their cycle at the time of injury we could better identify patients who might need more aggressive monitoring or treatment. It would also allow us to counsel women that they’re more – or less – likely to feel poorly because of their menstrual phase.”

Although media coverage tends to focus on concussions in male professional athletes, studies suggest that women have a higher incidence of head injuries than men playing sports with similar rules, such as ice hockey, soccer and basketball. Bazarian estimates that 70 percent of the patients he treats in the URMC Sport Concussion Clinic are young women. He believes the number is so high because they often need more follow-up care. In his experience, soccer is the most common sport leading to head injuries in women, but lacrosse, field hockey, cheerleading, volleyball and basketball can lead to injuries as well.

Sex hormone levels often change after a head injury, as women who have suffered a concussion and subsequently missed one or more periods can attest. According to Kathleen M. Hoeger, M.D., M.P.H., study co-author and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, any stressful event, like a hit to the head, can shut down the pituitary gland in the brain, which is the body’s hormone generator. If the pituitary doesn’t work, the level of estrogen and progesterone would drop quickly.  

According to Bazarian, progesterone is known to have a calming effect on the brain and on mood. Knowing this, his team came up with the “withdrawal hypothesis”: If a woman suffers a concussion in the premenstrual phase when progesterone levels are naturally high, an abrupt drop in progesterone after injury produces a kind of withdrawal which either contributes to or worsens post concussive symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness and trouble concentrating. This may be why women recover differently than men, who have low pre-injury levels of the hormone.     

Hoeger and Bazarian tested their theory by recruiting144 women ages 18 to 60 who arrived within four hours of a head hit at five emergency departments in upstate New York and one in Pennsylvania. Participants gave blood within six hours of injury and progesterone level determined the menstrual cycle phase at the time of injury. Based on the results, participants fell into three groups: 37 in the premenstrual/high progesterone group; 72 in the low progesterone group (progesterone is low in the two weeks directly after a period); and 35 in the birth control group based on self-reported use.

One month later, women in the premenstrual/high progesterone group were twice as likely to score in a worse percentile on standardized tests that measure concussion recovery and quality of life – as defined by mobility, self-care, usual activity, pain and emotional health – compared to women in the low progesterone group. Women in the premenstrual/high progesterone group also scored the lowest (average 65) on a health rating scale that went from 0, being the worst health imaginable, to 100, being the best. Women in the birth control group had the highest scores (average 77).

“If you get hit when progesterone is high and you experience a steep drop in the hormone, this is what makes you feel lousy and causes symptoms to linger,” said Bazarian. “But, if you are injured when progesterone is already low, a hit to the head can’t lower it any further, so there is less change in the way you feel.”

The team suspected that women taking birth control pills, which contain synthetic hormones that mimic the action of progesterone, would have similar outcomes to women injured in the low progesterone phase of their cycle. As expected, there was no clear difference between these groups, as women taking birth control pills have a constant stream of sex hormones and don’t experience a drop following a head hit, so long as they continue to take the pill.    

“Women who are very athletic get several benefits from the pill; it protects their bones and keeps their periods predictable,” noted Hoeger. “If larger studies confirm our data, this could be one more way in which the pill is helpful in athletic women, especially women who participate in sports like soccer that present lots of opportunities for head injuries.”

In addition to determining menstrual cycle phase at the time of injury, Bazarian plans to scrutinize a woman’s cycles after injury to make sure they are not disrupted. If they are, the woman should make an appointment with her gynecologist to discuss the change.

Women, quitting smoking for New Years? Time it with your period!

The menstrual cycle appears to have an effect on nicotine cravings, according to a new study by Adrianna Mendrek of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal. “Our data reveal that incontrollable urges to smoke are stronger at the beginning of the follicular phase that begins after menstruation. Hormonal decreases of oestrogen and progesterone possibly deepen the withdrawal syndrome and increase activity of neural circuits associated with craving,” Mendrek said. She believes that it could therefore be easier for women to overcome abstinence-related withdrawal symptoms during the mid-luteal phrase, i.e. after ovulation, when their levels of oestrogen and progesterone are elevated, but psycho-social factors cannot be excluded, as tested women were explicitly asked in the study about the phase of their menstrual cycle. “Taking the menstrual cycle into consideration could help women to stop smoking,” Mendrek said. The findings were published in Psychiatry Journal.

The researchers came to their conclusion by working with 34 men and women who each smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day. They filled out questionnaires and had underwent MRI brain scans, which were taken while they looked at either neutral pictures or pictures designed to make them want to smoke. The women were scanned twice – once at the beginning of the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle and then again at the mid-luteal phase. Oestrogen and progesterone levels were also measured.

Fewer than one ex-smoker in ten manages to stay that way after a year, and women who smoke have a harder time quitting than men, even when they smoke the same amount. In drug studies involving rodents (nicotine and other substances), scientists have observed sex differences. “Female rats become addicted more quickly, and are willing to work harder for the same quantity of dose,” Mendrek explained. This observation led Mendrek’s team to conclude that females are perhaps at higher risk of addiction, and sex hormones could be the reason why.

The situation is much more difficult to unravel when it comes to humans. Each smoker is unique in terms of his or her tobacco use, personal history, personality, social situation and environment. “Stress, anxiety and depression are probably the more important factors to take into consideration,” Mendrek said. “Having said that, amongst young people, tobacco use by women is unfortunately increasing.”

The researchers led their study with two specific objectives in mind. The first was to check if there are gender differences in the neronal circuits linked to craving. The second was to determine if the electrocortical changes associated with nicotine withdrawal fluctuate in tandem with hormone variations.

No significant differences were found between the men and women insofar as the neuronal circuits were concerned. However, the activation patterns for the females varied considerably over their menstrual cycle. Certain areas of their frontal, temporal and parietal cortex revealed greater activation during the follicular phase, while limited activation was recorded in the hippocamp during the luteal phase.

Mendrek hopes her conclusions will encourage researchers to pay greater attention to biology when designing their research protocols. “A greater knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms governing addiction should enable us to better target treatment according to the smokers profile,” she said.

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DAY 43 ON ESTROGEN: I’m doing well, these pictures are makeup free (most will be) to get an accurate picture of my transition:) I’ll break the awkward barrier of being trans just a few (maybe more) times on my blog, but while I was at the hospital I experienced my first cramps. In between the pain and confusion, I took a moment to think “How amazing is this?” I thought this development would come a lot later.

I just want you all (cis and trans*) to understand while, yes, periods and cramps suck, how amazing this was for me. It’s complete bullshit to say that periods “make you a woman”, not to mention offensive to so many parties (including myself), but this was an incredible experience for someone who for years was misgendered for the lack of this, left out of conversations and classes and thought of as “not quite a woman” for this. To have a group of (wonderful) girls empathizing like I was actually a part of them and not “that not quite a girl”. 
This incredible thing happened to my body because of these patches. It was probably the first for certain change that made me truly happy from estrogen. As ridiculous as it sounds, I got happy when I got cramps.

Love always, Your Trans Feminist Princess,

~Vanessa~

TRANS ROMANCE

You’ll wonder how the hell someone could love someone as complicated as you.
But then one day, someone will see you for the person you are, and they’ll fucking love every tiny fucking thing about you. Your past and your present.
It won’t fucking matter what anyone else thinks, because its just you and them, and you’ll be happy.
Don’t give up, be positive, because someone out there is waiting for you to charm the fuck out of them for the rest of their life.