Hormones play a vital role in the functioning and development of a healthy body. They are responsible for many processes that occur within a person.
Moreover, some hormones are responsible for physical characteristics development that differentiate males from females, such as breast and facial hair.
Due to the nature of these sex hormones, it is possible to provide a person with estrogen to improve the development of female characteristics. As a result, it can be used as a gender-affirming treatment for transwomen.
What is estrogen replacement?
As the name suggests, estrogen replacement is a therapy that consists in providing the body with estrogen hormones. This changes the hormone level balance. Therefore, allowing the person to achieve higher levels of estrogen and estradiol instead of testosterone.
This is commonly used in two scenarios: after menopause and as feminizing hormone therapy. Therefore, it is an outstanding help to trans women.
Estrogen is a hormone that helps females develop female sex characteristics. There are different types of estrogen. However, it is present in both males and females. This type of estrogen is called estradiol. Nonetheless, estradiol levels are much lower in males.
Estrogen replacement allows a person's body to change and develop a more feminine figure. However, it can also cause emotional changes that tend to be more consistent in females.
As a result of this estradiol replacement, testosterone hormone production is decreased. This causes the muscle mass to reduce and the facial hairs to slim up.
How is it done?
Women's hormone replacement is done through different methods, such as:
- Skin patches
- Sublingual tablets
The treatment is different for every person. The doctor can perform a saliva hormone test or blood test to determine the current hormonal levels and design a treatment plan.
Furthermore, women's hormone replacement treatment often begins with low estradiol doses. This helps reduce side effects and prevent health complications. Afterward, the dose is adjusted and increased to achieve the desired result.
It usually takes around 2 years to achieve the final effect of the estrogen replacement therapy. Once this happens, the person should lower the estrogen dose and continue taking it for life.
Benefits of estrogen replacement therapy
Estrogen replacement therapy helps people suffering from gender dysphoria to transition toward a female body.
Some of the changes it can produce include:
- Softer and less oily skin
- Decreased hair loss
- Breast development
- Less facial and body hair
- Testicles size reduction
- Fewer erections
Additionally, it can improve the quality of life as it helps achieve a body that aligns with the person's gender identity.
Important health considerations
Estradiol replacement must be done under the supervision of a professional healthcare provider. Although this therapy is safe, there are a few things to consider.
Long-term hormone therapy can cause permanent infertility. Additionally, it decreases libido.
It is essential to attend regular checkups with a doctor to evaluate hormone levels and prevent any complications.