In the first month of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a lot of changes begin happening in the body, some visible and some unseen. Here's an overview of what typically occurs:
- Breast growth - Breast buds may start to grow and become sensitive or tender. This indicates breast tissue is growing.
- Skin changes - Skin may start becoming softer and oilier. Complexion issues like acne may flare up due to changes in oil production.
- Body hair - Thinning and slowed growth of facial and body hair may occur.
- Fat redistribution - A subtle shift in body fat distribution may start taking place. Hips, thighs and buttocks may begin accumulating fat cells.
- Sexual changes - Penile tissue may start to become softer and atrophy. Spontaneous erections decrease and genitals become less sensitive. The testes may also decrease in size due to changes in supporting tissues and sperm production slowing.
- Metabolic changes - Changes in metabolism, salt/water retention, and weight may occur. Digestion may slow down.
Long-term Changes Beginning
- Mood changes - Mood swings, increased emotional sensitivity, irritability, or anxiety are commonly reported in the first weeks.
- Calming effect - Some also report an overall calming effect or euphoria from finally starting HRT.
While much of the bodily transformation takes place over years, certain effects kickstart right away:
- Blood vessel changes
- Changes in genes and protein production
- Drop in sperm production
- Drop in testosterone production
- Rise in estrogen levels
These precipitate many of the longer term changes like body fat redistribution, breast development etc.
The first month is therefore a time when the foundations for larger physical transformation are laid through hormone signaling changes. Not all changes will be apparent or felt so soon. It takes time for the full effects to manifest.
The best way to start HRT is under medical supervision. At Equilibrium Hormone Institute(), we offer personalized gender transition services, with certified endocrinologists guiding your HRT treatment for feminization or masculinization. Contact us today to book a consultation!
What You Can Do
Here are some things you can do to help your transition during the first month:
- Take hormones regularly as prescribed
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle and nutrition plan
- Get adequate sleep
- Eat a balanced diet
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Use a mild skin care routine
- Reduce stress with yoga, meditation, etc.
- Connect with a trans support community
- Start hair removal treatments if desired
The first month marks the beginning of an exciting, and sometimes challenging, journey. Having the right information, medical oversight, and social support makes all the difference in this crucial phase. Stay patient, listen to your mind and body, and allow the hormones to work their magic!