How Is Hormone Treatment Carried Out In The Context Of Sex Change

Hormones control the formation, function and interaction of the genital organs. They regulate the physical and psychological development of people during puberty and fertility. One of the steps to active gender reassignment is to exert influence on appropriately dosed hormone preparations.

Important controls in the hormonal balance are the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, an area in the midbrain. The actual “sex hormones” are released by the gonads, the testicles in men and the ovaries in women. The pituitary and hypothalamus send out special substances that start or inhibit the hormone production of the gonads. Interfering with this system can change fertility, psychological condition and gender-specific physical attributes.

Gradual Gender Adjustment Depending On The Situation And Age

An adaptation of the physical to the perceived, inner gender usually takes place in three steps.

The first is open psychotherapy: self-awareness, orientation and expression of the desire for change are the focus. The goal of therapy is not to dissuade those affected by their intention. Rather, the causes and motivations for the desire for gender adaptation are investigated. If there is a real “transsexuality”, therapy can be continued with the important second step.

This second step depends on the age of the patient. In children or adolescents, puberty can be slowed down or stopped with the right hormones. Characteristics such as broken voice, gender-specific distributed hair growth or the growth of the female breast are effectively suppressed.

The slow or suppressed puberty gives people with trans identity a window of time. In this phase, they can perceive themselves and their situation anew. However, hormones also affect general physical growth. This risk must be taken into account.

In both cases, hormone treatment creates the basis for finding your way around the new gender role you want. Hormone therapy before sex change (opération transgenre which is the term in France) surgery as a possible third step has another important function: Are the changes consistent for each patient? If so, he or she will feel comfortable in their bodies and gain quality of life.

Effect And Consequences Of Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy carries the risk of side effects and health risks. Depending on the start and duration, it can only be partially reversed.

Multi-Year hormone therapy is an important prerequisite for surgical gender adjustment. If the hormones are well tolerated, the surgery can be performed. Surgical intervention removes the organs responsible for hormone production. Therefore, lifelong hormone intake is necessary to ensure the health and adequate life expectancy.

Author Image
Reed Hamilton

Mason Reed Hamilton: Mason, a political analyst, provides insights on U.S. politics, election coverage, and policy analysis.