Q: What things change with surgery, hormones, etc.?

What things change with a gender reassignment surgery?

My perspective is from having MtF vaginoplasty. There are many other Gender Confirming Surgeries, and people who have had those will likely have very different (yet really neat) answers.

I’ve answered a similar question – When a transgender person has surgery to alters their anatomy, what will the surgery allow them to do they can’t do currently? – which are:

  • Have genitalia which matches what I should have had at birth
  • Be rid of dysphoria focused around my genitalia
  • Have vaginal penetrative sex
  • Wear leggings and tighter fitting bottoms (clothes) without worrying about tucking (hiding)
  • Wear bathing suits which aren’t skirted or baggy
  • Get through TSA without having my crotch marked as an “anomaly”
  • Feel more like my body is my own
  • Feel more confident in my own body
  • Not worry about testosterone becoming the dominant hormone in my body
  • Live more authentically

Other changes include:

  • No longer need to take an antiandrogen to suppress testosterone
  • No longer need to be worried about getting hit in the testicles
  • I have to dilate daily (I’m still in my first year after surgery)
  • I’ve had pelvic floor physical therapy to improve my pelvic floor muscle tone and control (this isn’t typically required, but I needed it)
  • Peeing is often a bit messier (but in line with what is typical for women). Also, the sound of peeing is the same as I hear from other women in public restrooms (that makes for less stress/worry about someone questioning me in the restroom)
  • Underwear fits better; I can wear styles of underwear which previously would have been uncomfortable or impossible
  • I can’t overstate the mental/psychic relief of having anatomy which matches what I feel inside. The mental energy I have gotten back is amazing!

Transgender: What were or are the good and bad side effects of your Hormone Replacement Therapy?

  • Good: Loss of erections, especially spontaneous
  • Good: atrophy of testicles
  • Bad: very low blood pressure from spironolactone – caused dizziness
  • Benign: salt cravings from spironolactone – pickles have never tasted so good!
  • Good: access to emotions from estrogen
  • Good: loss of rage and physical tension from lower testosterone
  • Good and bad: loss of muscle mass – good because it helped feminize my body, bad because the loss of strength — it sure was handy sometimes!
  • Bad: weight gain
  • Bad: skin breakouts from electrolysis – relatively easy to treat
  • Good: my body hair diminished substantially
  • Good: my scalp hair changed to lay in a more feminine style, and the smell changed to a feminine smell.
  • Good: my body stopped smelling like a man and started smelling like a woman
  • Good: my skin became much softer
  • Good: my sense of smell improved a little bit
  • Good: my feet shrunk slightly
  • Good: progesterone makes me sleep like a baby
  • Good: I can dance (I felt so uncomfortable in my body before, I could never dance)
  • Bad: I sometimes have symptoms pretty similar to a period: cramping, bloating, moodiness. I just don’t have the bleeding (obviously)
  • Bad: boob pain
  • Good: boob pain

All in all, it’s been amazing for me. It was exactly what I needed, and the few bad things pale in comparison to the good.

4 thoughts on “Q: What things change with surgery, hormones, etc.?

Add yours

  1. One thing I was definitely not aware of until recently is how poorly airport security seems to handle people who don’t fit into neat gender lines. It’s definitely an issue that I hope our nation’s leadership looks at–there has to be a way to be more sensitive to one’s gender identity without compromising national security.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Also, your sharing that link made me realize that you were the one who made me aware of this issue!

          How would you feel if I share your “traveling while trans” post on my blog at some point? I don’t know how soon it’ll be, but the post definitely is an issue a lot of people are not aware of!


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