I do not endorse any of these ads. They are the price of a free website.

From Dimensions at the Castro-Mission Health Center in San Francisco
reprinted with permission

DRAFT 6/9/00


For Female to Male Transition

Testosterone will cause these permanent changes:

  • Lower, or change your voice.
  • Cause body hair to grow on your thighs, abdomen, chest, back, and arms.
  • Cause facial hair to grow. The facial hair you grow will depend on your body and what you’ve inherited from your family.
  • Cause hair loss and, possibly, complete baldness.
  • Cause your Adam’s apple and bones in your face to thicken and look more "masculine".
  • Cause your clitoris to become larger.
  • Cause your skin to become coarser


Testosterone can also cause these changes that should go away when your stop taking it:

  • Decrease of fat in breasts, buttocks and thighs and increase of fat in abdomen.
  • More red blood cells in your blood .
  • Make it easier to build muscle if you work out.
  • Increase your sex drive.
  • Cause weight gain.
  • Stop your periods. Some FTMs start having some bleeding later in their life. If this happens, talk to your health care provider.

What Testosterone Won’t Do:

  • Your breasts will not go away.
  • You won’t grow a penis.
  • It won’t work overnight

How long do I have to take hormones before they start working?

The effects of testosterone may take several months to become noticeable and up to five years to be complete.


Why do some TG youth prefer not to take hormones?

There are many reasons to decide not to take hormones, if you are not sure you want to change your body, if you’re happy with what your body is like now, if you have health concerns or if you want to have children. There are many transgendered people who decide to on the "NoHO, NoOp" option (no hormones no operation).

Hormones will not make you any more or less of a "real" transsexual or man or woman. They will change what you look like, but not who you are inside.

Testosterone should not be used to prevent pregnancy. Even if you have stopped having periods you should still use birth control (practice safe sex!) if you are having sex where your partner’s semen could contact your vagina.


Whether or not you want to take hormones is your choice. We want to help you figure out for yourself which decision is right for you.

What about the side effects and dangers of taking testosterone?

  • If you experience hives swelling, vomiting, call your health care provider immediately.
  • Taking hormones can cause problems with your liver. You should get regular blood tests to check your liver function.
  • Taking testosterone can increase your risk for breast cancer. Even people who have had top surgery (chest reconstruction) can still have some breast cells that can be affected. You should examine your breasts or chest regularly. Your health care provider can show you how to do this.
  • It may increase your risk of uterine cancer.



  • Many people get acne (pimples) when starting testosterone. Make sure to wash your face regularly with a mild soap. Some people will have very bad cases of acne that could cause scarring if not treated. If this happens, talk with your health care provider about treatment options.
  • Taking more testosterone than your health care provider recommends will not make your body change any faster. If you take too much testosterone, your body can change it into estrogen, which can stop the effects of the testosterone. It is very important to talk with your health care provider about the right dosage for your body.
  • It may put you at risk for diabetes.
  • Testosterone may increase your risk of getting heart disease or stroke later. This risk will be the same as it is for non-transgendered men.

Some TG youth should not receive hormonal treatment.

You should not use hormones if:

  • You are still exploring
  • You smoke cigarettes
  • You have liver problems
  • Are pregnant

How are hormones


At Dimensions, testosterone is given by injection every other week. After awhile, you may be able to learn how to give yourself these shots.

Whom can I talk to if I have problems or questions?

The clinic staff can refer you to resources.

You may also want to check out some of the groups listed on the transgender resource sheet.

How will the effects and side effects of hormones affect my emotional state?

The way hormones effect people can be very different. Some people feel that they become more aggressive when taking testosterone, while other people feel that it calms them down.

Changing your injection schedule may cause mood swings and irritability (crankiness).

Informed Consent to Continue Hormones
Informed Consent for Testosterone Therapy
Informed Consent for Estrogen Therapy
New Patient Flow Chart for Transgender Hormonal Treatment version 1?
New Patient Flow Chart for Transgender Hormonal Treatment version 2?
Flow Chart for New Patient Continuing Transgender Hormonal Treatment
Treatment Guidelines for MTF Transition
Treatment Guidelines for FTM Transition
FTM Handout
MTF Handout
Back to Critique