A recent study found that hormonal therapy, meant to aid in gender transition, is totally safe and effective.
A presentation was made on a European study on hormone treatment at the Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco on June 15.
The study indicated that short term hormone therapy is perfectly safe, and has few side effects.
The head of the study, Katriern Wierckx, who referred to transgender identity as “transsexualism” and called it a “diagnosis,” explained that the “number of trans persons seeking hormonal or surgical treatment has drastically increased in recent years,” Wierckx said, as reported by Pink News.
The study was conducted with the participation of 45 transgender men and 42 transgender women, where the men were given a 12-month series of testosterone doses and women received both anti-androgen medicine as well as estrogen. (Estrogen is a main ingredient in female birth control pills, which thousands of American women take every day.)
Interestingly, oral contraceptives (with the active ingredient of estrogen) show dozens of side effects. According to MedlinePlus, some are quite serious, such as gingivitis, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, depression, and, partial or complete loss of vision, just to name a few.
Personally, when I was taking hormonal birth control, my moods (which are normally rather even) swung out of control and I would randomly and without warning burst into tears for no reason at all. After about four months of thinking I was crazy or suffering from depression I stopped taking the pills. After just a few days I felt back to normal. Since then I have vowed to never take hormonal birth control again. (My experience is not unique—I have heard many similar stories.)
However, I am not a doctor, so I have absolutely no idea what the effects of estrogen would be on a biological male. And as the study would suggest, it is safe and the side effects are quite low.
The side effects included an increase in sexual drive and fat and muscle redistribution.
The hormonal therapy study tracked the participants’ waist-to-hip ratio, fat and lean tissue mass, as well as blood pressure.
“Our study gives valuable information about the effects of drastic changes in sex steroids on glucose and lipid metabolism, cardiovascular and bone health, so that we can inform our future clients, their families and other caregivers more accurately on the desired effects, side effects and adverse events of cross-sex hormonal treatment,” said Wierckx, according to Pink News.
The study also indicated that hormonal therapy could in fact treat some illnesses and disorders, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and prostate cancer.