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To Hormone or not to Hormone?

  • Don't waste time and money on so-called "Herbal Estrogen".  I tried it for almost a year and about all I got was a bigger belly and man-boobs.  When I finally bit the bullet and went to a proper gender dysphoria specialist, with a therapist's letter, we talked for about 15 minutes and he did a basic exam.  He pointed out that I already had feminine traits - that would not have been from the herbals (bone structure, mannerisms, posture, speaking,...).  Yeah, I knew that - used to get beat up for it as a kid.


    Even though I got the hormones, they still wanted me to do a check with their therapist, and that interview ended with him giving me a high five, and writing the letters for gender marker change on social security, and driver's license.  I did have to get another letter for the Passport.


    Of course, by then, I had been living 128 hrs/week as Debbie and was working as "Rexxie".

    18 monts later I'm a 38-D (easiest to buy) or 40-C (hard to find but fits a little better).

      December 3, 2014 3:16 AM GMT
  • I tried taking hormones, but they didn't seem to do much good, and they often caused me to burb what felt like dust.


    If you are really comitted to having real breasts, you should absolutely go with the process.  I switched from herbal to actual about 2 years ago and the results have been quite satisfactory.   Because of my age and previous medical history (heart attack and stroke), we agreed to take it slow and steady at first.  2mg estrodial and 100 mg spiro.


    When my heart doctor saw me, I listed the new meds and he was delighted.  He said "we usually don't give that to men because they hate the side effects, but now that I know you are on it I can take you off your other meds, and this is safer!  Stopped my losartan and bystolic, and haven't had problems at all.


    After about 6 months, we upped the doses and things are going wonderfully.

    i am actually healthier and happier than I have ever been.



      June 3, 2014 1:53 AM BST
  • Moderator
    1638 1‚ 0
    Hi Hanna. I'm afraid I have to echo what Doanna said. These products from Holland and Barratt are aimed at post-menopausal women who have produced oestrogen all their life but now had it suddenly taken away. Maybe these products might relieve associated symptoms such as hot flushes etc, but they are not intended for, and will not give you proper feminisation.
    I tried various herbal products for 2 years, waste of money, waste of time; all you will achieve is the feeling that your chest is a little "fleshier". If you continue it will cost you hundreds, even thousands of pounds, and frankly you might as well throw that money down the drain.
    Furthermore, high doses of plant oestrogens will interfere with the action of any human oestrogen you may take in the future, so the sooner you stop them the better if you are serious about feminising your body. You state you are TS in your profile, you look great, do you want to do this properly or not?
    You can buy Estrofem, which is 17-Beta (human) estradiol from Inhouse Pharmacy for 24 pence per 2mg tablet. Several other suitable products are available. I bet you are spending more than 24p a day in Holland & Barratt. But the main point is, real oestrogen will have a real feminising effect, plant oestrogen such as you are taking will not.
    Save yourself a small fortune and treat your body with respect. Natal women produce human oestrogen, not plant oestrogen; it is NO substitute.
    <p><span style="font-family: 'book antiqua', palatino; font-size: medium; color: #000080;">"Stop aspiring to be other people and start being you."</span></p> <p>Gok Wan</p>
      June 27, 2012 11:58 AM BST
  • Hanna, most people here would disagree with the use of "Herbals" for a number of reasons.
    1) The amount you would have to take to see ANY results is staggering - probably a placebo effect at best.
    2) The cost to take large amounts of Herbals is can be $100's per month
    3) They can also do harm in such large amounts
    4) They don't really work.

    Sorry hun
    <p>Doanna Highland</p>
      June 27, 2012 4:13 AM BST
  • 2003, that can't be right can it? Anyway, I have been on the herbal remedy approach for 9 months. Fenugreek, Fennel and Saw Palmetto capsules from Holland and Barratt, I take them every day in addition to massaging in fennel oil into my breasts just before i go to bed. I have gone from complete flat chested to now having small breast buds that are noticable when I lean forward. They are definitely more fleshier and now I am able to make myself a decent cleavage. I will continue and hope to see even bigger results in the months to come.
      June 26, 2012 11:21 PM BST
  • Recently, I've had a couple of members ask me how things have been since I quit using hormones. Things did return to normal, emotionally, and most of the physical results (I'm somewhere between an A & B cup) have remained, much to my delight. Eventually, I intend to back back on hormones, but not until I can do so for good. For now, I'm focusing on other things that need to be done, such as laser hair removal (Epilight), which I've been putting off for some time. I hope to get started in the first quarter of 2005.
      December 14, 2004 12:12 AM GMT
  • After almost six months, I stopped taking hormones today. I'm still taking finasteride to keep my hair, but I'm done with the estradiol, progesterone, and spironolactone. I have two reasons:

    The hormones are working too well (physically), and if I go any further, I won't be able to pass as a "regular" guy anymore. At this point in my life, I still need to do that. It's not that I don't want a more feminine body, it's just that I'm not in a social or financial position to become "obviously trans" right now, and I might never be in such a position. I knew this going in, so it's not really a disappointment, but I do hope that my body keeps the minor enhancements I've noticed up to this point. We'll see.

    At first, I thought I had avoided any negative emotional effects altogether, because the physical effects were noticeable early on, with no change in my emotional state. However, I've been extremely depressed (in general) for the past few weeks, more so than at any other time in my life. I can't say 100% that it's because of the estradiol, but it's very likely that my estradiol-altered emotional state is magnifying negative occurrences in my life way out of proportion. As most of us do from time-to-time, I'm dealing with several personal issues at once right now, and things that would normally get me down for only a little while (or not even phase me at all) have been hitting me hard and keeping me down, to the point where I cry on a daily basis. I don't enjoy doing much of anything anymore, including hanging out with my friends, on-line or off-line. My sleeping habits are all screwed-up, as well.

    So, that's it, for now, hormone-wise. I'll report back and let you know how I feel as time passes (it might get worse before it gets better, though). I might've been able to stay on the hormones and ride out the mood swings, had other current circumstance in my life been different. Reason #1 is the main force behind my decision, but reason #2 moved my schedule forward a few days (I had planned to quit at the end of this month).

      March 26, 2004 5:57 PM GMT
  • Yes, when we consider that most of the data collected on the effects of female hormones is from hormone REPLACEMENT therapy for genetic females, it's no wonder that there is so much disagreement, even among professionals, regarding hormone therapy for M-to-F trannies. However, I'm open to the probability that there's more than one right way to go about it, even for the same person. Plus, each person has her own needs and different reactions to various treatments.
      December 26, 2003 5:21 AM GMT
  • Isn't it funny? There are about as many theories on the administration of hormones (and herbals) as there are people. I've read this thread, comments and opinions on other tranny websites too.

    My physician has her opinion too. It was funny, but at the same time almost insulting, when I asked about supplementing estrogen (Premarin) with spironolactone and propecia, she turned to the assistant (who must have been new) and says something like "...she's read on the internet about hormone therapy, what everyone else is prescribing, how they should be taking this or that, and how much, then they come in and ask for all of these prescriptions that they don't need..." She told me that with a high dose (5mg/day divided into two doses of 2.5mg each) of conjugated estrogen (Premarin) that these other medications are not necessary, the best anti-androgen is estrogen, preferably multiple types of estrogen (again, like Premarin).

    She also added that she WILL prescribe spiro and propecia if I want them, but most of her patients find after a few months that they are spending too much money, and they continue with only the Premarin.

    I've been taking the Premarin for two weeks now, there have been a number of changes already evident, however none are visible. Primary effects have been initial increase in the number of night-time spontaneous errections (which ended after a week), with no further errections since. Mood swings, from one end of the spectrum to the other.

    This is going to be one hell of a ride! I wouldn't want it any other way.

    Happy Holidays
    Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. -- Edgar Allan Poe
      December 25, 2003 7:44 PM GMT
  • Sorry for the slow responses...

    Robin, I personally wouldn't use Evanesce, but opinions vary. The reason I wouldn't is because I'd rather use idividual herbs than a pre-mixed combination, which is what Evanesce is. You can get it here:

    Tarrareign, as for self-prescribing, I can't say yes or no. That's a personal decision, usually based on money, but also other factors, often depending on where you live. I guess one thing I could say is that it's usually (in the USA, anyway) better to be under a doctor's care, if that's an option.
      December 11, 2003 2:38 AM GMT
  • Thank you Stevie for the info. I guess i am going to stick with the herbs for awhile and some time next year I think I will look into getting the prescription hormones. But I was also wondering if it would be a good idea to buy Premarin (with an online pharmacy that requires no prescription)? I'd only be willing to do that if I had a doctor who would be willing to watch my hormonal levels for me. What do you think about this? any kind of feedback would be of great use!
      December 4, 2003 9:14 PM GMT
  • Unless you're seeing a doctor who can run tests for you, you probably won't know that you're specific hormone levels have increased or decreased, on paper. If things are working, though, you'll notice slight changes, but probably nothing you can measure. Just don't count on much from herbs. After trying them for a year (you can search back through this long topic and see exactly what I used to take), the minor results I noticed weren't worth the expense and effort. However, I'm still glad I tried herbs, both for the knowledge I gained, and to prepare me psychologically for non-herbal options.

    When I used herbs, I didn't see a reason to take Saw Palmetto. If it just happens to be included in a multi-vitamin that you take, that's O.K., but in my opinion, I wouldn't take large doses of it for herbal feminization. I think you're better off with Vitex, which is also a phytoprogesterone. If I were starting herbs today, I'd probably load up on the Black Cohosh as my lone phytoestrogen, and then use a non-prescription strength natural progesterone USP cream (like I am now) for the progesterone. I wouldn't bother with herbal antiandrogens. Finasteride (Propecia or Finpecia) would be better, anyway, and it's easy to get a prescription (to prevent baldness). That's just one tranny's opinion.
      December 4, 2003 2:18 AM GMT
  • I was wondering if someone can tell me which herbal testosterone blocker you would recommend?? I have been debating on whether or not to use vitex agnus-castus or saw palmento. From what I hear from others is two different sides to saw palmento... one person says that it will increase the testosterone levels (which I definately do not want) and another person says that it wont? I find this perplexing because... how/when would you know when the testosterone levels have gone down or up?

    Thx for all the help! This place has more info than most other places that I have visited.

    Love, Tarra
      December 3, 2003 5:58 PM GMT
  • Amber - I really couldn't guess. Sorry.

    Laura - Thanks for the opinions, facts, and general input. I'll post any additional info I find. Please feel free to e-mail me anytime. I visited a local tranny group for the first time earlier this month. If I decide to go back, I might get to learn from the experiences of other trannies who have been using female hormones long-term.

    It was my plan to increase from 2mg to 4mg of estradiol eventually, depending on a doctor's input and how I felt after a few months of 2mg. Not that I recommend it, but I usually listen to doctors' advice, then make my own decisions. LOL I'm a lousy patient, but I do my homework. Like you, I still have to pass as a guy somtimes, and I still want to maintain my sex drive, so I'm not about to start with megadoses. However, the more I feminize, the more I want to do, as long as I stay healthy.

    Oh, and I haven't noticed any difference regarding the brittle nails question.
      December 1, 2003 2:30 AM GMT
  • No problem with the questions, but just remember I'm a patient and a consumer, not a doctor.

    Regarding Finasteride & Spironolactone:

    I got a prescription for finasteride to prevent baldness. It wasn't just a preventative measure, though. I actually started to lose hair and stopped the process before I went bald. As long as I can afford it, I'm staying with finasteride unless something better is approved, such as dutasteride (Avodart
    ). My doctor says finasteride is unlikely to cause liver damage, and I've never read anything negative about it in that regard, certainly not compared to spiro or estradiol. I don't think taking finasteride adds any significant additional risk. If I stop taking anything to avoid liver problems, I'd give up the spiro and/or estradiol before the finasteride, regardless of what my doctor says (O.K., so I'm a difficult patient - LOL). Even back when I had surgery, another doctor told me to quit taking everything EXCEPT finasteride. It has a relatively harmless reputation, assuming you don't mind the possibility of slight feminization.

    Regarding Pregnenolone:

    Here's a quick description I found...

    Pregnenolone is a steroidal hormone manufactured in the body. It's a precursor to many other hormones and may be able to bring the levels of other hormones up or down, as needed. It's the precursor from which almost all of the other steroid hormones are made; including DHEA, progesterone, testosterone, the estrogens, and cortisol. Despite its powerful metabolites, pregnenolone is acknowledged to be without significant side effects, with minimal or no anabolic, estrogenic, or androgenic activity. Pregnenolone may be one of the most important hormones because it seems to have a balancing effect.

    Also, here's a good article that sums up just about everything else I've read about pregnenolone...


    I've been debating whether to continue to take it after my current supply runs out. Pregnenolone is supposedly beneficial in several ways (aside from helping with feminizing herbs), but the fewer things I can take, the better. I've also considered just taking one multi-vitamin per day, as well. That's a good question about the cholesterol. I'll have to look into that some more.

    Regarding Progesterone:

    There seems to be a constant debate among doctors (and trannies) as to whether progesterone is necessary at all for feminization. I'm sure you'll find more controversy regarding progesterone than with pregnenolone. You'll also find a lot of debate about progesterone vs. progestins.

    I wasn't too crazy about taking several hundred mg of that micronized progesterone (Microgest) per day, just to get the same dose into my system I'm getting with the cream. The majority of it gets destroyed in the liver when you take it orally (more so than some other medications). Unlike progestins, with natural progesterone, you have to take really heavy doses just so a small fraction will make it through (especially for M-to-F transition purposes), and that can be rough on your liver, as you mentioned. I'm already passing estradiol, finasteride, and spironolactone through my liver, so I don't want to push it.

    The only reason I'm not using estradiol injections is that I need to be able to stop at any time. Otherwise, I wouldn't be using Estrace/Estrofem, because the oral method is one of the least efficient. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the cheapest and most convenient.

    Here's the cream I'm using: Source Naturals Natural Progesterone Cream from The Vitamin Shoppe...

    4 oz size = http://www.vitaminshoppe.[...]hResult

    2 oz size = http://www.vitaminshoppe.[...]hResult

    Here's an article about progesterone from that same site:


    Regarding Estradiol:

    Yes, it's usually better to take half twice a day instead of all at once, but I haven't noticed anything negative. In fact, I haven't noticed much of anything (psychological or physiological), other than slightly plumper breasts, but that was already happening with the herbs (assuming it wasn't just diet and exercise), so I doubt the estradiol has kicked in yet. Everything I've experienced so far has been on a very small scale. It's early, though (not even two full months), so I might eventually experience what you've experienced.
      November 26, 2003 2:50 AM GMT
  • O.K., as of October 1, 2003, I've left herbs behind and started using chemical hormones. Here's the new regimen:

    Estradiol = 2 mg (1 tablet)

    Natural Progesterone USP = 44 mg (about 1/2 teaspoon liposomal cream)

    Finasteride = 1 mg (1 tablet)
    Spironolactone = 100 mg (1 tablet)

    Vitamin E = 200 I.U. (as part of a multi-vitamin; two 100 I.U. tablets)
    Pregnenolone = 60mg (two 30 mg capsules)
    Black Currant = 100 mg (as part of a multi-vitamin; two 50 mg tablets)
    Royal Jelly = 100 mg (as part of a multi-vitamin; two 50 mg tablets)
      October 2, 2003 2:41 AM BST
  • Here are some good sources for general information about chemical hormone therapy. Specific information should come from your doctor, if you have one.

    Gender - Trassexual Support Site -[...]Q_id=18

    The Looking Glass Society - http://www.looking-glass.[...]cal.htm

    Transsexual Women's Resources - http://www.annelawrence.c[...]ns.html
      September 1, 2003 4:26 PM BST
  • Dear All,
    could any body inform me if Progestrone is important for femenal desire, with estroforum.

    thanks for help

    Faten xxx
    with all my love
      September 1, 2003 11:37 AM BST
  • You didn't say which hormones you are taking, could you please let me know what they are and the dosages.
    suekie wrote:
    Two years ago,I realised the only option for me was to go 'all the way'.I fought my way through the 'system',and have now been on hormones for over eighteen months.If it is the right thing for you,you will know it.The effects are as much mental as physical.There is a serenity that comes from within,a wonderful sense of wellbeing.It is hard to describe,and I know others who have tried to explain it to me.<br> If,on the other hand,you are not a true TS,apparently you soon find out,as your body will not like it.I have met two people who have been there,and stopped taking them after about two months.<br> As for life 'without'? That is my goal.I transitioned at work,and am just waiting...<br> Good luck to you,and anyone else thinking of taking the same path.<br> Love, Sue.XX

      July 22, 2003 5:07 AM BST
    I have also been taking Black Cohosh, Saw Palmetto, vitamin e and have also noticed that my nails seem to grow faster but are much more brittle and easily break. The other problem is
    that I have had some fat resdistribution, some good (seems I have more cleavage now) some bad
    if it was working its way down to my buns it seems to have stopped at my waist. I guess I will have to start exercising more.

    rikkiradoula wrote:
    Hi Girls <br><br>I've been taking a lot of natural hormone products now for about 12 months they have made quite a difference.  I got all my information from a web page that provides a lot of help this is a report based on someone experiences following information she found in a newsgroup and it is very detailed. <br><br>I take Black Cohosh Tincture, Wild Yam Capsules, (and the cream when I remember), Agnus Castus, Saw Palmetto, vitamin e - there were some recommended products not available in the UK and I bought all from Holland and Barrett.  <br><br>The effect - I was losing weight at the same time but gained weight in the breast area and on my hips - as a result I can now fill an A cup comfortably  and my skin feel softer.  I also feel better myself - though that could be a Placebo effect.  The change was sufficiently different that after six months my ex girlfriend saw me with my shirt off and commented and I do not feel comfortable going swimming as a guy anymore  :-[ <br><br>But I would say this - it is Male breast - not female breast - ie natural hormones redistribute fat but do not create breast tissue - and my nipples did not change at all. Great cleavage though and if I wear clothes to show it off I definitely do not get read anything like as much.  in fact I have even had someone turn round when I spoke and say - "Bloody hell love, you sounded just like a bloke."   <br><br>Some side effects – My nails are much more brittle and I have real trouble getting them to grow unless I wear clear polish or hardener all the time – I am also taking a vitamin supplement for Hair and nails, Vitamin B complex and Evening Primrose. <br><br>There was no loss of libido in fact it seemed to have increased.  I also take zinc because men lose a lot of zinc when they ejaculate.  Yeh I rattle as well  <br><br>What this did for me was to confirm that I wanted to go further and I have since bought the real thing on the web from New Zealand – Estradiol Patches and Spironlactone pills (Anti Androgen) – Unfortunately the source has closed down and I am now about to seek medical help and get them legally.   <br><br>After about five months – I am noticing a significant difference, though I am still taking the natural hormones as well. Now breast tissue is developing, my nipples are very sensitive and the is a noticeable decrease in libido, but I’m not worried about that – though I am not going for SRS. <br><br>Hope this helps<br>

      June 3, 2003 3:41 PM BST
  • patty wrote:
    Does anyone have an idear what the most inexpensive way to enhance my breasts and still have male erections?Can I use a breast pump,breast cream and herbals?

    There is a site that has hypnotic MP3's that are free to download. One of them is a script that is supposed to increase your breast size. I figure it is a free download so what have you got to loose. The site is If it works it would be the cheapest way to go.
      June 3, 2003 3:35 PM BST
      May 24, 2003 12:53 AM BST
  • Hmmm...boobs

    Maybe yes. I like them and find them beautiful. Most women don´t, I have heard. But I also enjoy the overall feeling of being more and more MYSELF. And that shows to outside. I get nice comments from people. They say I look happier or "more in myself". And that is true, I am getting now my REAL body, where I can feel at home .


      May 23, 2003 6:57 AM BST
  • Hi Andi

    I have noticed that silly sad movies make me cry already many months ago. I also noticed that colours seem brighter and I can smell and taste better than before. And I have a good appetite...not very happy about that
    My breasts have developed gradually, now they seem to speed up. My left one has the B cup size, the right one a bit less than that.
    When I look at myself in the mirror I could easily pass as a woman or as a man. But I guess pretty soon I cannot pass as a man anymore...

      May 22, 2003 10:28 AM BST
  • Hi andi

    I´ve had now nearly six months of daily 100mg spironolactone and 100mcg ethinyl estradiol. In checking my testosterone level had dropper lower than on genetic females. 100mcg ethinyl estradiol seems to work on me, but I decided to rise it to 200mcg after reading that the average dosis is supposed to be as high as 400mcg.
    So, my body seems to welcome the transition and not to fight against it. Rather it surrendered right away without fight.
    Well, anyway, I´m only at the beginning of my path. I calculated that I might have maybe 20% of my transition behind and 80% still ahead.


      May 8, 2003 5:30 AM BST