Thursday, September 15, 2011

Testosterone for androgyns/3rd gender/non-binary folk

While I am not some sort on the topic...I wanted some information to be out there. When I first started looking I did hear whispers about female bodied persons seeking transition to...not entirely male. I heard about people who knew someone who knew someone who one time was on "low dose T" for androgyns. But...that was about all the info I could find and looking back...most of that was wrong information.

I know we can't discuss dosages here, and that's fine. I won't be discussing that. Everyone is different, reacts differently and must seek professional advice from their prescribing doctor. Super duper important.

First thing I'd like to talk about in this is something I only just learned. (though once I learned's kinda one of those..."oh duh." things.) Female born persons don't have testosterone blockers in their body. So...when we take testosterone, our levels appear much higher than those of male bodied persons. (as described to me by my doctor.) This is an ok thing. This actually makes it a little bit difficult to take something one might consider a "low dose".

When I started T (a little less than two years ago) I did so thinking I was taking a "lose dose". When I had my blood levels checked...I was shocked to find that based on my blood work, it was NOT a low dose for me. I was in fact, in full male/FtM range. However...I found the dosage to be very therapeutic. I freaked out about that and had a bit of a "what does this mean!? Am I actually FtM now that I'm in this range of T, and finding it therapeutic!?" and with thearpy and some time, therapy and thinking it That doesn't make me male. My identity is still as androgyn as ever.

There are many choices in dosage and prescriptions of testosterone. Many new ones have recently come out, which hopefully over time will make them cheaper. (as many are not cheap...) I have personally had experience with a few different types.

The first I was put on was Testim which is an alcohol based gel. It's applied to the chest (not breasts) and upper arms. You rub it in until you feel it's dry, let it set for a few mins and then get dressed as normal. It comes in small "daily application" tubes. The tubes are kind of nice because if you travel you can take just what you need, rather than a whole big bottle or what have you. I put "daily application" in quotes because's between you and your doctor as to what is right for you. I've been given the freedom to play with proper dosage for me. We've experimented with half tube daily, and other combinations of full tube one day, half tube the next, so on and so forth. I did so under careful watch of my doctor.

Just to try the injectable version of T I did go on it for a short term. I thought it would be really nice to not have to think about it for two weeks, rather than daily application. I'm not a huge fan of shots, and my hormones were all over the place while on it so I really didn't like that. I prefer a more steady, even feeling...which the gel gives me. Daily application equals no trough. That's a pretty nice thing.

Recently my dr wanted me to try a new product that's come out. (he's pretty fond of whatever is new..."ooohhh shiny!" Axiron I tried it and...I *personally* don't like it. It's an odd application method. It comes in a large lotion type bottle and it comes with a rubber tipped cup that's shaped like deodorant. It goes in your under arms. You put your deodorant like normal, wait two mins and then pump this alcohol based liquid that's very watery into the cup. Then you apply the contents of the cup to your underarm(s). I couldn't quite get the hang of it somehow...and kept dripping it down my sides and onto the floor. I requested going back to Testim. (as that just works best for me. I'm sure the other types work wonderfully for some.)

The reason I feel that "low dose" is a sort of mirage is that even if you are able to keep your testosterone levels just prolongs the changes that will be taking place. (as I understand it) though having low levels of testosterone limits what your body can do. (masculation wise)

My voice has dropped considerably. I am now a low bass singing voice. (I started at a low alto...for what that's worth.) I do have facial hair and need to shave, though it's still rather's finally starting to darken up around my chin. I don't really have much for body hair though I'm starting to get some. My clit has grown as many transmen report. My sex drive amped up considerably. (oh lord did it..) My moods evened out, my GID lessened, my muscles bulk up easier, I seem more "vulcan" in my approach to thinks and insistence that all things should be logic focused (it's actually the running joke in this house) and I can't say that's testosterone based but it's so different from who I used to be (highly emotional to annoying levels...seriously. Annoying.) that I bring it up because changes in hormones can have unexpected consequences...positive or negative. I'm sure I've changed in ways I can't even see or notice about myself.

However...with all's been one of the best things I've done for myself. I didn't hear any experiences from other androgyns (or the like) and so I wanted to put this here so others can hear my experience.