what they don’t always tell you about T within informed consent sheets, a better post
since the one going around is filled with blatant misinformation and exaggerated tales of horror to the point that i question whether its intent was good.
the first thing to expect, is that your experience will be unique. there are hundreds of factors to how hormones change your body, and while you will find people with experiences like yours, you will have a different experience. so while this is a general guideline, your experience may be that you don’t experience these things, or that you experience them with intensity. it’s so, so varied. 99% of the stuff they put on informed consent forms is prefaced with ‘YOU MIGHT -’.
- regarding the smells, yes! you will smell different! that is a fact. the hormones are different in your body now, you will start to smell more like what you’d expect from people who have similar amounts of testosterone in their bodies. it can be a little weird, but it’s nothing that deodorant (and sometimes cologne, if you want!) won’t cover up and it’s nothing that’s abnormal and it’s nothing that every other human being doesn’t experience. everyone smells! you just happen to smell different than you used to.
- when facial hair grows, when hair everywhere else grows, you can get itchy. my face gets itchy, my head gets itchy, especially when it’s hot it can get frustrating, but it’s no cause for panic. some people might get itchier than others, but it’s just something you’ll deal with and it’s not all that bad. you’ll get used to it and think about it less and less as your body situates.
- binding, as with any thing you put on your chest, can cause acne! i’ve seen no difference in wearing sport bras and binders in regards to acne, i’m a DD chest, it’s just what happens when you sweat and compress your chest. having some acne between your boobs is normal, having some on your back is normal, just try to leave it alone and take showers (you can take showers without washing your hair every day if that’s an option!), it’ll be okay.
- as with, well, puberty, you’re going to have ups and downs of hunger. sometimes i can just never stop eating! sometimes i don’t feel hungry at all. it’s good to keep track of how much you eat generally and try not to overeat, but you might get cravings for more carb-heavy foods because puberty 2 takes a lot of energy for your body! eating more than normal is, well, normal. drinking a lot of water and things like orange juice can help even this out and it will benefit you in a lot of ways (like keeping your immune system healthy).
- your clit will probably grow. it can be kind of jarring, but it’s something you get used to, and everyone experiences this one with a WIDE range of difference. some people only get an inch or so in growth (mine is huge now and it’s still so weird but also so cool), some people can have their clit grow to much bigger! some people can feel their boners, some people get morning wood, and you might feel it in your pants and wearing tight underwear might not be the best in that case, try wearing boxers and loose clothes around the house as much as you can, as well as not wearing your binder too much.
- voice drops happen so suddenly you won’t even see them coming, but once the first one happens, you can get a feel for it. usually your voice cracks for a couple weeks/months, SUDDENLY gets deeper, levels off, then cracks again, repeat. it can be sudden, and it also creeps up on you. try keeping logs of your voice, you’ll be so shocked at the difference that only a few months can make! also, people around you will notice your voice changes before you do unless you’re constantly going back on old videos.
- acne is inevitable. to what degree? totally dependent on the person. genetics and health play a big role. you’ll get acne in places you haven’t before, but eventually it will level out. it’s not going to be forever, you have to keep in mind this is second puberty and puberty means random and weird shit! like unfortunate acne! it will pass. try to ignore it as much as you can.
- my period stopped at 4 months in. occasionally, i still get phantom cramps. not for very long usually, but you have to remember that your body has a rhythm, and you’re interrupting that. it’s going to take a while for it to switch gears! talk to your endo/doctor if your pains are excruciating to the point of hospitalization/etc because that can be a sign that something is wrong. also, you usually do blood tests every few months to make sure the hormones are working fine. my periods when i started T ranged from no pain at all and debilitating pain, and i’m someone who previously had extremely painful periods. this gets less common over time!
- try not to do any drugs/alcohol before getting your blood tests done. my endocrinologist knows that i do have weed occasionally and so far that hasn’t been a problem but i think drinking is something you should avoid with blood tests coming up for your safety so they don’t report problems that aren’t there. you’re not going to get in trouble for any of this, you just need to tell them.
- every person has a different T dose. i take 100 every other week because of various things: my size, my weight, how the hormones already are in my body. i know some people who are on 200, some who are on 50 weekly, it depends on what your PROFESSIONAL DOCTOR thinks is safe for you, and they WILL adjust accordingly if the need arises between both of you. taking more T than you’re prescribed with the intention of getting quicker effects will actually slow the process and make your body produce more estrogen and can hurt you. you don’t want that!
- it’s not shameful to set up appointments for your shots or not be able to do them yourself, and if you do them yourself it’s okay to mess it up. believe me, i have. every injection is different, but you get a feel for it and mess up less. they would not let you do it at home if it wasn’t safe enough. just watch videos, know what you’re getting into. getting blood drawn hurts more for me than my T shots. it’s okay that sometimes it takes you forever, or no time at all. T shots are your thing and your experience and your choice on how is the most comfortable for you. most doctors prescribe different injection sites based on what they think is best, all of them work. one person doing it in their leg doesn’t negate that it also works in the ass but if you’re told to do it one way, stick to that or talk it out with your doctor to come up with an alternative! the amount of blood that comes out of the injection site is different with each one, the angle is different, and i would HEAVILY SUGGEST sitting down for a while after a shot. one of my shots, i stood up right after and after about 5 minutes of walking i noticed oil just, coming out of the site and down my leg. it was horrible. gravity is your friend and also your enemy, use it wisely. the level of pain with each shot is different too, and remember that needles are supposed to only be put in something once. if you fuck up an injection and pull out too fast or anything, switch out the needle because if you don’t, the tip is more blunt (you probably won’t be able to tell with your plain eyes) and will hurt much more than the first time. shots are weird, each one is an entirely different beast but you’ll get it down.
- T can make you more emotional. REMEMBER - puberty 2! it’s not going to turn you into a raging frothing beast, but if you’re already prone to anger, already prone to frustration, it’s going to happen! i’m prone to getting claustrophobic and stressed out, and T has made that worse, but over time i’ve come to manage it and over time it evens out and i experience it less and less. with hormones comes mood shifts. it’s perfectly reasonable and it’s easier than puberty 1, since you can see it coming and can calm yourself down easier and you know what’s causing it. i get frustrated more easily sometimes, but i sit down, breathe, and know that it’s the hormones, and it makes it SO MUCH easier to deal with.
- your genitals in general might get drier. might be the opposite. mine is the latter. my libido is NUTS, it can be weird, but for some people it’s not like that. again, completely dependent on the person. either direction or no change at all, you can expect anything.
- your immune system is weaker and your body is putting a lot of energy into these changes. be aware of that, please for the love of all that’s good wash your hands, stay clear of sick people as much as you can, and try to eat and drink healthy, generally. you might catch colds and the colds can turn worse than most, but being hygienic is the best way to prevent any of that.
- if you stop T, your periods will come back. some medications can’t work with T like some birth control, and before starting any medication please check in with your doctor before to make sure that it’s safe. use your best judgment and be conscious of your health.
- T is not an overnight experience. changes take a long time, some longer than others, and being patient is incredibly important. don’t get frustrated at your body, it’s doing it’s best. you’ll get there, some slower and some faster than others. it’s different for everyone. but you WILL get there if you want to get there.