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To Hormone or not to Hormone?

  • Hi girls

    I have been taking my daily spiro 100mg and my ethinyl estradiol 100 micrograms for some three and half months now.

    The exciting small changes, which at the beginning made me  jump up every morning in order to check me in the mirror, has become routine. Or maybe not that, but the procedure seems to have levelled if not slowed down.

    I know, it goes on, and I can even measure the changes. But it must be, just like learning a new language, a combination of spurts and stillstands. And I´m too eager to see what follows.


    hugs

    Laura
      January 22, 2003 7:16 AM GMT
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  • Hi again!

    Here's a good place (at least, they've been good to me) for vitamins and herbs: www.vitaminworld.com. They have a very good multi: Multi Vita Min for Women. I take two a day. I quit using GNC because they quit carrying herbs, at least in my neighborhood. :P

    Stevie, dear--Saw Palmetto does not feminize per se, but is intended for men's prostate health. It's the only reason I continue to take it; I have had enough health problems without wanting to add prostate trouble to them...and it seems to run in my family, anyway. For what that's worth.

    Based on your advice, I will be adding Red Clover to my next herb order... ;D

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra-Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      January 22, 2003 1:47 AM GMT
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  • Thanks. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Smile01.gif

    There are some things I disagree with on that page, but much of it fits with the research I've done. Of course, I'm not a professional.
      January 22, 2003 1:31 AM GMT
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  • Randy, how long have you been using Red Clover?
      December 16, 2002 11:14 AM GMT
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  • I think to me the main thing about hormones is that they make me feel SO GOOD. The changes they produce in my body seems secondary to that. But it is nice, too :)


    hugs

    Laura
      December 10, 2002 9:01 AM GMT
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  • I thought that estrogen lowers down your blood pressure... That´s anyway what I have read about it.
    Maybe I´m wrong...

    hugs

    Laura
      December 9, 2002 6:17 AM GMT
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  • That first link for the Sissify site is a good one. I've been there before, and I think it's good general advice about herbs. Have you ever asked them any specific questions? I know they charge for that service, but I just wondered whether anyone had an opinion about the specific advice frfom Sissify.
      December 5, 2002 12:47 AM GMT
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  • Yes, I saw that book. At that price, I'm tempted to buy it.
      November 29, 2002 10:11 PM GMT
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  • There's an informative book listed in the Books Board. It's titled Feminizing Hormonal Therapy For The Transgendered. It's written by Sheila Kirk,MD. Even if you choose not to take hormones, it's worth reading.
      November 25, 2002 4:08 PM GMT
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  • Well, this androgen blocker called Aldactone seems to function. I´m surprised how it has slowed down my facial hair growth. If it continues this way I can stop shaving for good...

    hugs

    Laura
      November 25, 2002 10:30 AM GMT
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  • On a more philosophical note, for those who might be new to feminizing herbs and haven't read through this whole topic, I'm taking these herbs only because I'm considering prescription hormones in the future, and these herbs are mainly training hormones for me, for lack of a better term. By researching these herbs, I've learned a lot about hormones in general, so I think it's worth the experience, for the short term. I really don't expect much in the way of physical changes, and, in my case, even if I do notice some minor feminization, I won't really know which herbs (or even the Propecia) had more to do with it.

    Based on everything I've learned so far, I wouldn't recommend using herbs unless you're considering the possibility of embarking on real hormone therapy in the relatively near future. Psychologically, knowing that I'm taking feminizing herbs does help me to think more realistically about my future plans. Even though I'm aware of the psychology involved, the act of taking the herbs on a daily basis still makes hormone therapy seem more like a realistic plan than a daydream.  

    It's not a game, and herbs aren't candy, but I've found them to be a good way of educating myself, as I knew very little about hormones only a few months ago. I'm not fooling myself into thinking that herbs alone will take me where I want to go, but I disagree with those who suggest that feminizing herbs are a complete waste of time, effort, and money. Some of us have to work our way up to the idea of starting serious hormone therapy, and I think this is a good first step. I'd be interested in hearing some other opinions about this.
      November 25, 2002 1:56 AM GMT
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  • Research Update

    In my continuing research, I'm finding more and more confirmation that Saw Palmetto, Mexican Wild Yam Root, and Don Quai are probably useless as feminizing herbs. Also, while Licorice is supposed to have some level of effectiveness as a phytoestrogen (and as a phytoantiandrogen), the amounts needed to do anything useful appear to be toxic and way too dangerous to play with, especially when Black Cohosh is already a better option. Regarding Wild Yam, I've been using it, but I'll probably drop it when my current supply runs out. I don't think taking it in reasonable doses can hurt, but if the body can't synthesize diosgenin from Wild Yam into progesterone, then there's no reason to give the body (mainly the liver) another herb to handle. Also, it's not necessary to spend the money on it. Individual herbs are inexpensive, but when you take several together, the costs add up. I've already mentioned that I would not be taking Don Quai if it weren't part of my multi-vitamin.

    Not that it's a big surprise, but if you're going to take only one herb for feminizing, Black Cohosh appears to be the best choice. The maximum non-toxic dosage for Black Cohosh still seems to be around 2000 mg per day. Black Cohosh and Red Clover continue to be referred to as two of the best feminizing herbs around.  Compared to Soy and Sage, Red Clover is usually considered a better source of isoflavones. If fact, I can't remember reading anything that recommends Soy over Red Clover (although Soy isn't bad).

    I found some information that I previously hadn't been aware of, which suggests a possible conflict between Black Cohosh and Vitex. Among other things, Black Cohosh is supposed to suppress LH (leutenizing hormone) production, whereas Vitex stimulates LH production, which can in turn increase levels of progesterone secreted by the endocrine system. I don't yet know how accurate that information is, and, if so, how effective each herb is in what it does (regarding LH production). Even if there is a legitimate clash in that area, I don't know if that would have a negative impact on feminization. I'm still researching this, but if anyone else knows about this, please let me know. Aside from the LH thing, these two herbs seem to compliment each other.

    More later...
      November 25, 2002 1:10 AM GMT
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  • HI GIRLS, I'VE NOTICED SOMETHING NEW ABOUT MY HORMONE THERAPY.I'M GOING THRU PUBERTY A SECOND TIME,ONLY NOW AS A GIRL.   ::) I HAVE A LOT OF STRANGE FEELINGS & AWAKENINGS,THAT I'M NOT USED TO HAVING.ANY OTHER GIRLS OUT THERE HAVING SIMILAR FEELINGS???  :'(   LOVE ...PHYLISS
      October 12, 2002 12:46 PM BST
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  • From 10/02/2002, 11:01 PM...

    Some use Saw Palmetto as a phytoantiandrogen, but it's supposed to do what Finasteride does, so I don't take it. Most trannies who take it for feminization use two daily doses of 160 mg each. However, while taking Saw Palmetto is considered to be generally healthy for most genetic males, there is much debate over whether this herb helps or hinders feminization in genetic males. Then again, the same can be said for most herbals.

    There aren't very many choices when it comes to herbal testosterone blockers. For now, I'm relying on the one prescription drug I take (which I already take for non-feminization purposes).
      October 12, 2002 8:01 AM BST
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  • Thanks so much for that information and the way you laid it out - very professional - even if you are not!!

    I noticed that you did not provide a link for the testosterone blockers - any reason?  Lynn
      October 12, 2002 5:42 AM BST
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  • Here are a few on-line stores. I haven't used them all, but I do recommend The Vitamin Shoppe. Click on the links below.


    Vitamin Shoppe

    Drugstore.com

    GNC (I don't think they actually have an on-line store of their own.)

    Green Canyon

    Mother Nature

    Web Vitamins

    Cedarvale Natural Health

    Total Health Discount Vitamins

    Herb Cupboard

    Vitacost

    Herbvine

    Answers with Herbs

    Penn Herb Company, Ltd.


      October 12, 2002 2:40 AM BST
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  • As always, please keep in mind that I'm not a professional, and I'm just showing you what I've chosen to use. I'm just another tranny who's done her homework, and that process never ends. Lynn, you don't have to buy the herbs from a drug store, you can get them anywhere vitamins or health supplements are sold. I use the Vitamin Shoppe for most of my purchaces. So far, they've been fast and reliable, and they have great prices.

    Click on the names of some of the herbs for more info. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Stevie02.gif


    Herbals (phyto-stuff)

    Phytoestrogens
    Black Cohosh Root = 2060 mg (four 515 mg capsules)
    Red Clover = 860 mg (two 430 mg capsules)
    Dong Quai = 50 mg (as part of a multi-vitamin; two 25 mg tablets)

    Phytoprogesterones
    Vitex Agnus-Castus = 800 mg (two 400 mg capsules)
    Wild Yam Root = 1000 mg (two 500 mg capsules)
    Suma = 1000 mg (two 500 mg capsules)

    Phytoantiandrogens  (testosterone blockers)
    N/A

    Other
    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)


    Non-herbal Drugs

    Antiandrogens
    Finasteride (Propecia) = 1 mg (1 tablet; prescription only)



    My multi-vitamin is Especially for Women from the Vitamin Shoppe.

      October 12, 2002 2:17 AM BST
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  • Stevie - I have been looking over all the posts in here and there are many but I can't find where you posted the dosages for the over the counter herbals that you take. Can you post it here once more? And can these be purchaced in a vitamin, health food store or only in a drug store.

    I have to thank everybody who has posted here - the information is wonderful - it is a big help to a t-girls like me who is thinking about what to do LYNN

      October 11, 2002 11:22 PM BST
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  • I've never read or heard of anything about taking specific vitamins with herbs, aside from Vitamin E, but I do take a muti-vitamin designed for women. I use Especially for Women because it has a few extra herbs mixed in, but I would think any good muti-vitamin would be useful. Maybe someone else here has more advice.
      October 10, 2002 4:05 AM BST
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  • HI GALS,I'VE BEEN ON PREMARIN 6 WEEKS .WHAT A CHANGE!!   :o MY BREASTS ARE PUBESCENT IN SIZE & JUST WONDERFUL TO THE TOUCH,NIPPLES ARE VERY SENSITIVE THOUGH.MY FEATURES ARE STILL FEMINIZING.IT HAS'NT AFFECTED MY HAIR AS OF YET.LOTS OF EMOTION ,I WATCH LIFETIME TELEVISION & CRY.I'VE ONLY BEEN A WOMAN 2 MONTHS & ALREADY I THINK ALL MEN ARE PIGS  :o  MY DAUGHTER HAS A T-SHIRT THAT SEZ "BUY ME FLOWERS & CANDY ,TAKE ME TO BED ,DO ME FOR AN HOUR ,TELL ME YOU LOVE ME ,THEN GET THE HELL OUT!!! :o . PREMARIN MAKES ME HORNY AS HELL ,( FOR A MAN).MY POOR MALENESS HAS RETRACTED LIKE A TURTLE INTO HIS SHELL.IT'S OK ,BUT I WISH HE WOULD SLIDE DOWN MY LEG ,& CRAWL AWAY ON THE FLOOR,GOOD BYE!! ;D I'VE FOUND THAT WHEN I GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT,WHEN I LIE ON MY SIDE THAT MY BREASTS REST ON EACH OTHER. IT'S A VERY SENSUAL FEELING. I'VE SPOKE TO MY GIRLS ABOUT THAT ,BUT THEY DON'T REMEMBER FROM PUBERTY HOW IT FELT. YOU GALS ON HORMONES,WE'RE IN FOR A TREAT THAT BIO-GALS USUALLY DON'T REMEMBER.WE'RE OLDER WHEN OUR BREASTS DEVELOP,& ABLE TO DERIVE MORE PLEASURE FROM THEM. LET ME KNOW ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES???  MY DOSE OF PREMARIN IS .625 MG THATS THE RECOMMENDED DOSE FOR MENOPAUSAL WOMEN.YOU CAN FIND GOOD INFORMATION ON HORMONES & OTHER FEMALE RELATED PROBLEMS ON BERMAN & BERMAN ON DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL, THEY ALSO HAVE A WEB SITE BERMAN & BERMAN .COM (I THINK).    LOVE &  :-*----PHYLISS
      October 8, 2002 5:39 AM BST
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  • Don't worry, I'm taking 0 mg of all of those. I'm just using herbals, for now. All of those prescription dosages are based on recommendations for pre-op transsexuals. As you mentioned, the Progesterone and Spironolactone dosages are pretty common, but if the 8 mg/day for Estrogen seems a little high, keep in mind they are for pre-op transsexuals. Anyway, I'll be taking a doctor's recommendation if I ever use those drugs, so I won't be making arbitrary decisions myself (as I do with herbals). Who knows, I might never use those drugs, but it is likely, which is why I'm doing my homework now. Thanks for the input, Sarah & Laura. I always like to hear from someone else with real experience.

    Hayley, please keep in mind that the herbals I use and the dosages I take are strictly my best amateur guess based on my own research and discussions with others. That combination might not be right for anyone else, or even for me. Even though most herbs on the market are relatively safe (a few of them can be toxic, especially in large dosages), please be careful, and get as much information as you can from multiple sources. I might wind up seeing a doctor about these herbal hormones anyway, just to be on the safe side.
      October 8, 2002 1:40 AM BST
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  • Hi Stevie

    Sounds pretty high doses to me... I operate with half of that, what seems to work...anyway with me. I just noticed, it is hard for me to wear male trousers any more. Either I must lift them too high up or fix them somehow on my hips level.

    hugs

    Laura
      October 7, 2002 7:47 AM BST
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  • With real prescription drugs, like Premarin, you really need a doctor's advice (or two or three), but most of my research leads me to believe it's a drug I'd rather not mess with, even without the morailty issue. Here are two sources with very different views on the drug.

    http://www.premarin.com

    http://www.premarin.org


    Many trannies wind up taking a combination of things to increase estrogen and progesterone levels and decrease testosterone levels. This is one possible hypothetical combination I slapped together, but I just did it to give myself a general idea of what I might be getting into down the road, depending on how my experience with herbal hormones turns out, and depending on what a doctors tells me. This is not based on professional advice, just reasearch and discussions with others.

    Estrogen:
    Estradiol = 2 to 8mg/day

    Progesterone/Progestin:
    Medroxyprogesterone Acetate = 10 mg
    or
    Dydrogesterone = 20 mg
    or
    Natural Progesterone USP = 400 mg

    Anti-androgens:
    Spironolactone = 100 to 200 mg
    and
    Finasteride = 1 mg
      October 7, 2002 7:29 AM BST
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  • PREMARIN IS EXTRACTED FROM PREGNANT MARES URINE. THEY ARE OFTEN ABUSED DURING THE PROCESS. USE YOUR OWN MIND TO FILL THE GAPS.

    IF YOU MORAL: NOT WORTH GOIN THERE

    IF YOU NOT, SUPPOSEDLY IS A VERY GOOOD FEMINIZER...
    (ANY TECHIE STUFF I CANNOT COMMENT...)

    patience is a virtue, or is it simply a card game, and whos the dealer?
      October 6, 2002 8:35 PM BST
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  • Randy, I've talked to some female friends who use herbals as part (or as their entire) hormone therapy for imbalances, etc., and I've received a lot of second-hand info from their doctors (advice which wasn't tailored for me, so I can't apply the info with certainty). I've also done (and still do) a lot of research on-line (you have to be careful and take everything on the Internet with a grain of salt, depending on the sources). I haven't sat down and discussed herbals with a doctor, yet, but I really should. Psychologically, talking to a doctor about my femininity is a big step, and I'm trying to put that off, for now. I don't have any major illnesses or bad reactions to any of these herbs, so I've decided to experiment on my own (which one should never do with synthetic hormones).

    The reason large doses are necessary is because we are genetic males, and we're using them for a different reason than most customers. Females who use these same herbs usually take much smaller amounts, because they aren't trying to use the herbs to overcome the effects of testosterone, at least not at our levels, and because they already have much larger estrogen levels than do we, so they don't need to supplement their levels as much. Compared to synthetic prescription hormones, herbs are very weak, and to get a fraction of the results, we need take 1) as much as is safe, and 2) as much as our bodies can utilize without being wasted. From all of the research I've done, I'm taking about as much as my body is supposed to be able to actually process, without taking anything that can harm my system (theoretically). The truth is that there is a lot of guessing and estimating involved.

    Obviously, I have to pay close attention to my body's reactions, especially while my system is getting used to these new substances. When I first started using Propecia, it took a couple of months to get used to it, even though I had no serious problems. Now, I don't even notice I'm on it. The bad thing about herbs is that even doctors don't know everything about them, so there is a large degree of trial and error. The good thing is that most of these substances are fairly harmless to most of us, so as long as you don't use them irresponsibly (mainly, overdose), you'll probably be fine, as long as you are in good health. Still, the best thing is to discuss them with a doctor first, but I don't always take my own advice.

    If you do plan to take as many different herbs as I'm using, be sure to spread them out over the course of a day, and take them with food, even if it's just a couple of bites of something. Even though most of mine are in capsule form, which digest easily, taking too many at once can upset your stomach.

    A site that Rikki and others have suggested, Lisbeth's Rose Garden, has a lot of information in one place, and I've verified most of the dosages from several other sources. I disagree with that site regarding Saw Palmetto, but, like you, I'm not a professional or an expert by any means. Don't trust any single source. Go find several sources and compare them to get a general idea of what we actually know about specific herbs. Usually, there simply isn't enough research available to determine whether an herb will be effective (for feminization or whatever), and even when there have been tests, you still can't be sure which combinations will work for you personally.

    Eventually, I do want to discuss taking prescription hormones with a doctor who has experience with tranny patients. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't bother taking herbs now. By taking herbs, I'm just hoping for a glimpse of what female hormones can do for me, and hopefully, this will prepare me for a bigger decision in the (near) future. Psychologically (I know, again with the psychology), it does make me feel like I'm doing something positive by taking herbal hormones. I feel as though this is another step forward, and I'm a little closer to accomplishing something. Maybe I'll discover that it's a waste of time and money, but I don't think so.
      October 5, 2002 6:04 AM BST
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