It was 6 October 2017 when I stuck my first Evorel patch on my thigh and estradiol began seeping into my system. Patches, which irritated my skin, gave way to tiny foil sachets of Sandrena gel, and more recently I’ve been using an Oestrogel pump to squirt the cold, clear gel onto my legs every morning.
Since I started HRT, I’ve also had – I think – 26 intramuscular injections of triptorelin acetate, to inhibit my body’s production of testosterone. When GRS comes along, whatever form it takes, those injections will no longer be necessary, but I will need to keep taking estradiol in some form.
Where am I now?
I last had blood tests for serum hormone levels when I had my last gender identity clinic (GIC) appointment, at the beginning of September, but I don’t know the results of those tests yet: I should be able to find out when I get my next injection, next week.
I do know that my testosterone levels have been consistently low, but my estradiol serum levels have taken a long time to approach the GIC’s target of 300–600 pmol/l. The last test result I had (back in April) was about 200 pmol/l. After that, I moved from a 3 mg estradiol dose to a 4 mg dose (3.75 mg after changing to Oestrogel). I hope that’s enough.
Of course, blood tests don’t tell the whole story.
There have been some noticeable effects on my body. Much of the hair on my torso has disappeared. The hair on my arms and legs probably grows slightly less vigorously than it used to. I am apparently a centimetre shorter than I was before (!). I still have no libido and my genitals have shrunk a little. My areolae haven’t changed, but my breasts have grown, though not recently: I now wear a bra with an AA cup (leaving room for growth!).
On another level, though, I take heart in knowing that every new cell in my body now comes into being in an oestrogen-dominated environment and develops accordingly. Given enough time, all my cells will eventually be doing the right thing.