Important facts that you should know about hormone blockers & hormone therapy

Hi Readers!

This week’s topic is about hormone blockers, hormone therapy and the changes individuals go through during the transition period.

What are hormone blockers?

Puberty blockers and controllers are injections given to young people who would like to undergo a  gender variance. Blockers are used to pause puberty. They will delay the onset of secondary sexual characteristics i.e growth of breasts, facial hair, etc. specific to the young person’s biological sex. If the adolescent decides to stop the injections, the body will begin to experience the physical changes of puberty without consequence.

What is hormone therapy?

These hormones will trigger the development of secondary sex characteristics of the gender with which the person identifies. For example, in men, we observe the appearance of hair growth and in women, breast development.

What are the changes during the transition period?

For a woman to man transition (de Tilly & Tessier, 2016)

  • Increased secretions from the sebaceous glands
  • Possible appearance of acne
  • Increased libido
  • Expansion of the size of the clitoris
  • Change in body odour
  • Muscle mass growth (with training)
  • Redistribution of fat
  • Increased hair loss initially
  • Strengthening of the hair growth on the body and on the face after a few months
  • Non-permanent sterility while taking hormones
  • No disappearance of breasts

For a man to woman transition (de Tilly & Tessier, 2016) 

  • Softening of the skin and increased natural hydration
  • Decreased secretions from the sebaceous glands
  • Noticeable drop in libido
  • Change in body odour 
  • Increased sensitivity of the nipples and breast growth
  • Stopping the production of sperm by the testes
  • Redistribution of fat in the buttocks, thighs, breasts and face
  • Weakening of muscle mass
  • Decrease and stopping of hair loss
  • Increased emotional sensitivity
  • After several months, weakening of the hair on the body (no effect on the face)
  • Sterility

I hope this has helped you to better understand the changes children and teens may be going through during their transition.

If you would like to read our article about parents of trans* children, click here

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist