Tag Archive | Hormones

Life Goes On

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This is me on a trip into Boston shortly after dying my hair again. Even though I am a natural red head I like to make it extra red from time to time. My brother and I went into Boston to see our old High School perform “On the Verge” at the state finals of the One Acts Drama Festival. The theater teacher who works at the high school had a huge influence on both me and my brother as we passed through high school.

I am trying to get bits and pieces of my website updated as many of my pages are outdated. For example I haven’t touched my gallery in a year or two. Today I finished a much needed update on my breast development page. You can see my updated breast development timeline here (WARNING: Partial Nudity). I was pretty discouraged with my development until I saw my most recent pictures next to the images from when I first started. My breasts have grown a TON! Looking at my other timelines reveals that I have changed in many more ways than I thought.

I looked at this image of my facial hair before starting electrolysis and hormones and I cringed remembering what all that facial hair felt like. I still get facial hair, but I only have to shave every 2-3 days. That mustache and goatee are horrrrrible!

Anyways, I have been trudging through life without really doing anything. Weekly therapy, video games, netflix, and visiting friends is pretty much my whole existence right now. I have been selling collars on my etsy shop, which I got my business cards for! I am impressed by how well they came out. The cards themselves are durable and the detail looks wonderful. I am very happy with them. I opted for the premium double sided cards and it costed around $20-30, which isn’t too bad for 250 cards. You can get 250 for free from Vista Print. Check mine out below.

Business Cards

I am going to focus on my timeline pictures next and should have that up by the end of the week. In the mean time I am going to look at jobs and think about where I want to go from here. Depression has been beating me down lately and it is time I pulled myself out of it. The beautiful weather outside will definitely help. 🙂

Abbey

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AA: HRT Advice

Here is a recent Ask Abbey question that I got, my hope is to give a broad understanding of the process and hopefully get others on the right track.

Q: Hiya abbey.

I wont take up to much of your time. I just want to ask  you, my doctor started me on 2mg of esteofem daily but wont give me anything else because they really don’t know what I have to take. She told me to ask around hence why I am here. The esteofem has yielded good results so far(boobs are growing fast and my waist is getting curvy) but want to be taking the right things. I have done some research and apparently I should also be on “spiro.”

Can you advise me on what else I should be taking so i can inform my doctor.

Ashley
X

A: Hi Ashley,

The estrofem is a good start, after being on it for a while you may raise that dose a little. The average estrogen dose can be anywhere from 2mg to 8mg per day.

You are correct about Spiro, it is an antiandrogen called Spironolactone (Aldactone): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spironolactone

What it does is block the effects of testosterone on your body and effectively lowers your blood testosterone levels. Estrogen has some antiandrogenic properties alone but it is far more effective to pair it with Spironolactone. My advice for your doctor would be to start you on 50 or 100mg/day of spironolactone for a few weeks to make sure you have no adverse reactions, then increase your dose until your testosterone is sufficiently suppressed. The average dose is around 200mg but some people take up to 300 or 400mg per day. There are some other antiandrogens out there, but Spironolactone is by far the most commonly used and tested and has the fewest side effects.

Now when seeing an endocrinologist They will usually run blood tests before adjusting your medications to determine if you need to increase your dosage or not.

The tests my doctor runs are:

Estradiol, Ultra Sensitive, LC/MS/MS
Testosterone
Prolactin
Potassium
Lipid Panel
TSH
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy

The first 4 are the most important, the lipid panel, TSH, and Vitamin D are more for general health. The prolactin level is important to watch at first because HRT can increase those levels, especially in someone who already has elevated levels. If you have high prolactin levels before hormones it could be explained by a Prolactinoma, which is a benign tumor on the pituitary gland. They can be treated with medication or surgery but are not an immediate cause for alarm. Spiro is a Potassium-sparing diuretic so it can cause elevated potassium levels in your blood. It is important to monitor your levels for the first year or so to watch out for Hyplerkalemia but

as long as you are not eating a bushel of bananas every day you probably won’t have any issues. I can still eat bananas and be fine.

Now for the your testosterone and estradiol levels.

For a MtF person on HRT the target blood Estradiol level is in the range of 50-150 pg/mL. The ideal testosterone level would be below 100 ng/dL.
Before starting hormones my Testosterone level was 184 ng/dL and my estradiol was 24.02 pg/mL
After starting hormones my Testosterone levels are 27 ng/dL and my estradiol is 68 pg/mL
As you can see, my numbers are quite different now.

That pretty much covers the basics, some people also take progesterone, but the results are very controversial as to whether they do anything or not. They are usually claimed to help in breast development and increase sex drive, as well as make you more moody. Not surprising because it is the hormone that spikes during a females menstrual cycle during and after ovulation. My doctor does not prescribe it so I do not know as much about it, but if you do decide to research it and try it, do so after you have your estrogen and testosterone levels where you want them.

Abbey

Day 640 – Round House Theater

Hello everyone,

It’s been some time since I’ve really touched my blog. I blame it mostly on my new job. A new job you say?

Thats right! I am working at a music theater in the round. This is a picture of the stage, graciously taken from google. I mostly do carpentry and welding in the scene shop but I do some work for my brother in the sound department as well. It is my first time working in a theater and I have been enjoying it quite a bit. The hours are long (35-40 hours) and it can be exhausting, but it is very rewarding and I am getting a lot of experience that could be helpful down the road.

This all started during my birthday party on the 6th of May, my girlfriend and I were talking with my brother Andy and his girlfriend Maria, who both work at the theater. Somehow we got on the topic of jobs and they said they could always use extra hands during load-ins at the theater. Over the next few days I thought about it and by the end of the week I was taking a look at the theater and meeting my soon to be co-workers. My first day was the Monday after.

Growing up my brother would always talk about theater so I’ve had some background knowledge in it for a while. I helped out a few times at my high school’s theater, but I never thought I would end up working in one! I even get to go up in the catwalk above the stage 😉

All I’ve really done for the past few weeks has been working and sleeping. working from 8am to 7pm doesn’t leave room for much else, but the 3 day weekend is a plus. This past week has been especially exhausting because Hello Dolly! opens on Wednesday. That means I have worked at least 4 hours every day for the past 8 days, awesome!

That just makes it that much more exciting that I have tomorrow off because I have my 6 month checkup appointment with my endocrinologist! I am excited to see what my levels are at and make sure that they are in the proper range. I feel like things should be in the right place because I have seen a decent amount of progress since my last appointment, but it can’t hurt to see. On that note, I will be posting an updated batch of measurements this week and possibly give an update on my breast growth. I will tell you now, they seem like a healthy A cup, or a small B.

Anyways I have to get ready for bed so I can get some much needed sleep,

Until next time,

Abbey

Day 528 – Good news everyone!

 

After months of waiting I finally heard back about my name change and I have a hearing scheduled for the 13th of this month! After that I can go ahead and get a new license with my new name and an F marker, as well as change my name with the school. It will be such a relief to finally leave my old name behind and be recognized as Abbey by anyone, wether they be school officials, law enforcement, or my bank. I am very excited that I am finally making the next major step in my transition.

I am planning on taking a new set of measurements within the next week or two to see how my body has changed. Breast development seems to have slowed a bit, not surprising considering I’ve been on hormones for nearly one and a half years. I am considering gaining a little weight or increasing my fat intake to see how it effects my growth. My weight has been pretty steady at around 185 for the past year and I could probably do with a little more.

I recently read an interesting article about the use of progesterone in MTF HRT regimens. I was tempted to try taking progesterone myself but all the medical evidence I have seen points toward it having no effect on breast development. In fact the only information that is circulated is mostly rumors and misinformation spread by people who have no medical qualifications. Whatever your standpoint may be on the subject, you can read the article here. It’s only a few pages and is quite informative.

Dr. Richard Curtis seems like a respected member of the transgender healthcare field and works in a clinic in London. The clinic’s website can be found here.

Lately I’ve been getting back into making chainmail jewelry and I am going to try and actually sell some this time. I put in a big order from Theringlord.com that just shipped today and I am excited to get all kinds of colorful and rubbery rings to make beautiful bracelets out of! The necklace above is a piece I made last week after being inspired by another artist’s scale collars. I will probably post some more of my work once I get my new materials.

Anyways I hope everyone is having a great March!

Abbey

Day 485 – Updates, updates, updates!

Good news everyone! I have some big updates for my transition section. I have this new comparison to show how much my facial hair has changes, as well as an updated breast development timeline over in the breast development section. They are developing quite well and I am glad that are starting to have some mass of their own. I had been discouraged with the progress of my electrolysis as it continues to grow back time, and time again, but after seeing how much thinner and lighter it has gotten, I really am pleased.

The next thing I need to update is my development and weight chart. I keep putting it off because in order to do it I have to photoshop two excel charts together to show both sets of data. If anyone knows a better way to do this, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Anyways this was my first week back in classes and things are going well so far. I overslept and missed my first day of class but luckily one of my teachers was out sick so I only missed my figure drawing class. My internship has finally drawn to a close and I kind of wish I had a little more time in the jewelry studio. I missed a lot of time during finals and I wish I knew it would only be a 3 month internship. That aside, I enjoyed it thoroughly and Jade Gedeon (the owner) is a wonderful woman.

There is not much new for me to say about living full time, things have been going great and I haven’t had any issues for a while. There is still some social anxiety, but more often than not, I am just over thinking things. Also, It has been quite a while since I posted any ask abbey questions, I’ve made sure I answered them all but I just haven’t found the time to put them on here. I will try and go through them this weekend and post my responses to the ones I think others may benefit from.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Abbey

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