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Starting on hormones is not a decision to be made lightly. Besides the physical changes, there are psychological and emotional changes as well. And hormones can make you sterile! If you're married, or in a relationship, that alone may make you stop and think. If you don't let your partner know you're taking hormones he or she will soon notice the physical effects (i.e. breasts) and may cause a strain on your relationship. Telling your spouse, or partner, after the fact that you've started hormones is a recipe for disaster (unless you're positive he or she will be accepting). For more see Ask Tara.

On the other hand, hormones can make one feel right for the first time in one's life. Finally giving them the body and psychology of the person they've always been inside. You can usually take hormones for six months, or less, without any permanent effects (although breasts will not go completely away, they will deflate so as not to be noticeable).

Hormones are relatively safe when taken responsibly. However, they should NOT be taken without a physician's care if you have a history of cancer in your family, or if you have liver problems or high blood pressure.

If you decide to take female hormones be aware that they can have negative side-effects in some people and it may take some experimentation to find out which hormones and dosages work best. Don't exceed the suggested dosages (see below). Cigarette smoking increases the risk of certain health problems while on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Some sources report that estrogen can deplete vitamins B6, C and calcium. Leg cramps can be a sign of a calcium deficiency (women need 1500mg calcium daily) or you may need to back off on your spiro (Aldactone).

Hormones without a prescription: sources of mail-order hormones can come and go, so I can't recommend any. If you want to try mail-order hormones I suggest doing a google search to find sources, then doing some research on the sources you found before ordering (I don't supply hormones personally).

The following information was culled from various sources, i.e. doctors, research, people's recommendations, etc. They are the commonly recommended dosages from several sources. There are other estrogens and anti-androgens (anti-testosterones) not on this list. These are pre-op dosages. Seeing a physician before and during hormone therapy is recommended.

Estrogens and progesterone

Estrogen Dosages
Estrace or Estrofem (estradiol) 2 - 6 mg per day
Premarin (conjugated estrogens)[1] 2.5 - 7.5 mg/day
Estinyl (ethinyl estradiol)[2] 0.10 - 0.5 mg/day
Ogen (estropipate) 2.5 - 5 mg/day
Progesterone 100 - 200 mg/day
Provera (synthetic progesterone)[3] 5 - 10 mg/day

[1] Some people object to taking Premarin because it's made from the urine of pregnant mares and they have concerns about the treatment of horses.

[2] The 0.5 mg dose is no longer available and must be made at a compounding pharmacy. A compounding pharmacy formulates its own drugs. Estinyl is measured micrograms, i.e. 1 mg = 1000 mcg.

[3] Provera has been linked to depression in trans women.


Anti-androgens Dosages
Aldactone (spironolactone) 100 - 400 mg/day
Eulexin (flutamide) 125mg 1 - 4 capsules/day