1.75 years on T without noticeable masculinizing changesPosted: December 22, 2014 Filed under: Testosterone | Tags: androgyny, doctors, gender, gender identity, genderqueer, hormone replacement therapy, lgbt, lgbtqia, non-binary, queer, testosterone, trans, transgender 10 Comments
A couple of days ago, I hit my big 1.75 year milestone! (Haha.) I’ve been doing quarterly updates about changes on testosterone, and I’ll probably just continue at that pace.
Changes: There are none to report. Nothing new at least. I had increased my dose from 1 pump of 1% (Androgel) to 2 pumps of 1%, from roughly August through November. I did this because my blood work had come back with low levels. Er, by “low levels,” I mean back into a normal female range (I believe I was at 64 ng/dl). So after increasing and having more bloodwork done, I saw my doctor in November, and she told me my levels were at 210 ng/dl. I was surprised by this – not because it’s bad; just because it did not feel like I was up in that range at all. (A female range is roughly 14-75; a male range is between 300 and 800). I had been aiming for roughly 100 ng/dl; to find out I’d more than tripled my level felt hard to believe.
I hadn’t been experiencing a drop in my voice. Or more hair on my body. Or an increase in sex drive or appetite. To clarify, I have experienced some changes over time – just nothing new in a long time. Here are some past posts about it, if you’re interested:
One and a half years
One and a quarter years
One whole year
Eight months on T
My doctor wanted me to decrease the dosage a little bit. I strongly feel that I am going to do what I want to do and not what my doctor wants, in this regard. BUT, I’m super curious to see what the lab work will come back as, with a slight decrease. Because so far, the amount I’m taking has not appeared to correspond directly with the amount in my blood stream. Not in a sensical way, at least. So, for now, I’m using 1 pump of 1.62%, daily.
Like I said, there’s nothing new to report. So I’m going to just riff off of one thing I’ve really been enjoying. Feeling warm!!! It’s not so great in the summer, but right now I’m reveling in it big time. I’m typing right now wearing jeans and a t-shirt. This would not have been possible in winter months before taking testosterone! (Because we keep our house pretty chilly, to try to save $$$.) I can step out of the shower and not feel like I am shaking and shriveling until the point I have all my long johns and sweatshirts on. I can just kind of step out of the shower and take my time getting dressed. I can walk around with damp hair, and it’s not intolerable. My partner reports that sometimes it is too hot when we’re sleeping and I’m spooning her, in the dead of winter, even up in our uninsulated attic (which is where we sleep). Never heard that complaint before taking testosterone.
I love feeling warm when it is cold!!!
And finally, a couple of pictures of my face, to illustrate that it is possible to take testosterone for this long and still look pretty much the same (if that’s what you’re trying to going for – I am…)
So interesting to hear. My levels are much higher than yours and while my voice is deeper and I have pimples I do not notice much else at 10 months. I have always been hot, so no change there other than maybe tolerating it better. 🙂 Every body is so different. Thanks for the post and update!
I’ve been on semi-low dose testosterone (not quite as low as you) for about a year and a half now. I look different, the change is noticeable when comparing pictures side-by-side of now and 3 years ago. I started off looking extremely feminine, very much a “pretty little girl”. My face has definitely masculinized some. I have some facial hair though it isn’t noticeable unless you touch my face. My shoulders are broader, which could be just the weight lifting, or not. My sex drive went from non-existent to existing but nothing outrageous. I have face acne… I out-grew my boots, but only by just enough to need new ones.
I only started getting hot after my hysterectomy, so I’m blaming menopause more than testosterone for that.
Everyone I meet still reacts to me as if I am a normal cis-woman. My therapist suggested it’s very possible people are confused by my appearance now and are just guessing female based on my hair, but I’ve no way of knowing. I get called Miss and young lady, and occasionally ma’am, but never sir. (Except this one time this one homophobic asshole called me and my friend faggots, which made me laugh hysterically and really upset my friend, but that’s hardly a good data point!)
But the big change is I feel remarkably different. Really hard to describe, other than I just feel more right. I was very uncertain and very reluctant to start, but I’m now ready and willing to fight to the death to hang on to my bottle of testosterone… 😀
For reference, I’m using a 5% cream. I’ve no idea if the “pumps” are equivalent to andro gel. It is listed as 2g daily but my 1-month supply usually lasts me at least 2-3 months. My last blood test I was at 190ng/dL, which is where I think I want to be but I haven’t been tested in too long. I’m due to get tested again after Christmas. I’m very curious to see what it will be, because I do feel good like this.
that’s awesome you feel good on that amount! Does the misgendering really get to you? Like, is your goal to look less feminine over time? I’m still figuring out where I might ultimately want to fall, in terms of appearance…
My pump amount is 1.25g daily, which has 20.25mg of T within it.
Glad to hear from you!
For what it’s worth I think you pass extremely well!
Just a word of caution: if you end up using your medication sooner than the pharmacy has indicated to the insurance it should last, you’ll have a lot of trouble getting it early. Insurance companies are kind of sticklers on using exactly as prescribed. 🙂
Thanks for that info; the cycling of prescription –> usage has been going in the opposite direction for me so far (lasting longer than is indicated)… so far so good…
The things the insurance companies are concerned with kinda has me scratching my head…
Yeah, It can definitely get confusing. I work in pharmacy/insurance so I understand it a little bit better. Obviously, I don’t know the specifics of your plan, but generally speaking this is how it works: each medication costs the insurance company a certain amount. That amount is based on the supply cost of the medication, minus any rebates the manufacturer gives the insurance company. Those rebates are the part of insurance that bother me most because they tend to be really insurance-specific and hard to predict. That finalized cost after rebates will help the insurance company select which tier that medication then belongs in. Most insurance companies use a 3-tier system, the cheapest and generics having the lowest copay/month and so forth. You then pay that copay based on the day supply you receive, not necessarily the quantity you receive. A lot of insurance companies have copay incentives for receiving 90-day supplies of medications, usually you pay 2-months copay for 90-day supplies, vs 3 months copays if you get those fills one at a time. The logic behind this is that it encourages the patients to take medications more regularly AND it saves them money in the long run. Each time a pharmacy dispenses a medication, the insurance pays a base dispensing fee, this is intended to cover the cost of labels, bottles, ink, man power, electricity, general maintenance of prescription-filling equipment, etc. If they encourage clients to fill 3 months at a time instead of one, they cut those costs by 1/3. I hope that helps you understand the process a little better from a behind-the-counter perspective. 🙂
My wife tells me that im really warm, too. Shes always said im a furnace in bed bed now its worse, i feel it too. Sometimes ill wake up and the matress is so hot it actually feels like its scortching my skin. I, too, can noe grt out if the shower without feeling like ill die of cold! What a wonderful feeling! I now just wear shorts and a tshirt around the house all year around, and because my wife is always hot, we leave thr patio door cracked often, and i used to freeze during the winter now im like can we open it wider? Shes the one thats usually cold now. Isnt it funny how much that changes??
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So happy to hear you’re doing well and finding a dose that suits you. I have a VERY personal question, which you can avert if you’d rather not go there. I’m curious about menstruation and what levels of T are needed to make it stop. I suppose it depends on the person, but if you feel like sharing your experience I’d be interested to know more.
Yeah, definitely – I never have addressed this directly! Maybe I’ll make a post about it at some point…
For me, a higher level would be needed to stop menstruation. I’m just going on gut feeling, but I imagine it wouldn’t have to be a whole lot higher. My premenstrual symptoms have lessened a little bit, and my flow is a little lighter, which is awesome. I never had major issues before testosterone (cramping has always been existent but minimal, mood swings occur but it’s nothing extreme…)
As of now, having a menstrual cycle is not a huge discomfort for me. Not enough of a reason to try to get it to stop, at least, because I don’t think I want my testosterone levels to be up that high… I definitely do wish it would just magically disappear anyway though!
That’s a great question!