Testosterone: My Story

I’ve noticed that more and more people are getting here via the search term “ftm hormone therapy” and “how to get transman hormones” so I thought I’d do a basic 101.  I didn’t really intend for this blog to become a transman basics type site (there are several others already online), but I’m also not one to deny information to those who are newly out.

There are two ways to get T legally in the US: informed consent and therapist recommendation.  I went the informed consent route.  What this means is that I signed a document stating that I know all of the potential health risks involved with taking testosterone and I won’t try to sue my doctor if I’m unhappy with the results.  It was quick, easy, and only took three visits to the office.

On visit one I simply met with the nurse and doctor who would be overseeing my case.  If you’re in the San Francisco area I highly recommend Dr Brown over at Dimensions.  She’s a complete sweetheart and very respectful.  This was also when I went through a general intake form that included mental health history.  In order for a contract like this to be valid you have to be considered mentally stable, otherwise it won’t hold up as well in court.  So the nurse went over some very simple questions with me in a private room.  In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a history of depression and some mild sexual abuse in my background, but neither of these were considered problematic enough to deny me a prescription.

Visit #2 had me going over a giant list of possible complications (not current).  If you’re smart you’ll read over these in serious detail before you ever set foot in the office.  Why?  Because it’s important to know what is going to be happening to your body.  Too many of us get so caught up in the “OMG I want facial hair NOW!” that we don’t think about what the potential long term health effects may be.  Testosterone is a steroid and if you’re a transexual man you will be taking it for the rest of your life.  Learn to educate yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.

Before visit three I had to have some blood drawn.  If you live in San Francisco proper you can get these subsidised by the city and will just have it done at Dimensions.  I didn’t live inside the city so instead Dr Brown gave me a form to give to the doctor at my school and I had the blood drawn there.  They then faxed the results to her and I was all set by the time I got to the office.  We went over some questionable information in my bloodwork (I’m anaemic), then I signed the informed consent papers and she handed me a prescription.  For those of you who have decided to go the gel/cream route rather than injections, Women’s International Pharmacy is very good and cheap.

Now, not everyone is lucky enough to have the informed consent route available to them.  In fact, most people don’t.  The other option is therapy.  This is going to vary by area (just like anything else), but the general idea is that you see a therapist for x amount of time (usually 6+ months) and they write a letter to your doctor stating that you’re [a] a transexual, [b] in need of hormone therapy, and [c] not going to change your mind and sue.  I honestly can’t tell you much more about this route as I never went through it myself.  In fact, I made a conscious decision NOT to go through it because I don’t want a GID diagnosis.  However, sometimes there are no other options.

One Reply to “Testosterone: My Story”

  1. Pingback: Being off T sucks | Not Another Aiden

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