Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormones are members of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs to regulate physiology and behaviour. Hormones are used to communicate between organs and tissues for physiological regulation and behavioral activities. These include digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sensory perception, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress, growth and development, movement, reproduction, and mood.
When the term “hormones” or “HRT” is used in reference to the trans community, we’re usually talking about estrogen and testosterone, which come in multiple forms and are produced by most people naturally at various levels. Most people, trans or cis, have hormones, and many cisgender people undergo HRT— usually when they hit middle-age and their natural hormone production begins to slow down. Hormones that are gotten illegally are referred to as “street” hormones. Getting hormones illegally can be dangerous and should be avoided if at all possible.
The most effective are injections, which are most commonly taken either subcutaneous, which is right under the skin, or intramuscular, which goes into the muscle, and are usually once a week or once every couple of weeks. There are also sustained-release injections that are available in some regions that can last up to 3 months at a time. Patches, pills, sustained-release implants (pellets), oral medications, and topical solutions (cream/gel) are also available. It’s important to find whatever method is going to work for your life.
e.g. Javiah was excited to talk to nir doctor about HRT. Vaida congratulated her friend Em on their hormone-iversary, the anniversary of the day Em started hormones.
Further reading to gain expanded context:
The Magic of Hormones! | Scarleteen
All the E(strogen) | QueerDoc
All the T(estosterone) | QueerDoc
HRT Microgrants | Trans Lifeline
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