Hormones & Fertility


I have shortly written about Shark Week before, (and this week in the context of starting testosterone), but did so in a setting where imagining a shark-week-free life still seemed like a remote dream. I never explored how cross-gender hormones impact the reproductive system or how long it takes. Hence this post.

The moment when you start taking the hormones that fit your brain but not your body (cross gender hormones), all kinds of things start to change, and some simply shut down. For example, when I take testosterone, my body just assumes that it already made hormones and production of estrogen drops. I will still produce some amount of estrogen though.

This is normal, as both men and women produce estrogen. In masculine bodies it contributes to healthy bones and plays a role in the maturation of sperm (yes, I learned that recently), and in feminine bodies it regulates menstrual cycles and fertilization. When testosterone takes over the paying field, these will stop, either slowly or immediately.

In trans women, estrogen slows down (and potentially stops) sperm production. In both transgender men and women there´s a chance of (permanent) sterilization, but there have been quite a few guys to go off testosterone and conceive children. While it is an option, it´s not for me.  I knew I did not want kids long before my coming out.

Hence, hormonal cycles (including the mood swings and l unpredictability) have always felt rather pointless and nonsensical to me, and even though I identify as a guy, I´m sure there are many ciswomen who agree. Personally I´m looking forward to the day my “friend” packs her bags and goes on a permanent holiday.

While for the time being there is no child-rearing on the horizon (I still feel like I am just starting my own life), adoption is a feasible alternative, and a fail-safe against passing down genetics that will potentially unleash all kinds of mental health concerns. I am happy to have the option, should I ever choose to consider it.


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