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

#ChooseToChallenge

Hi Readers!

Monday 8 March 2021 is International Women’s Day! 

The 2021 campaign is focused on challenge and change, #ChooseToChallenge.

The premise is that a challenged world, is an alert world. 

As individuals, of all gender identities, we are responsible for our actions and thoughts. You have the power and the choice to challenge and speak up. It is when things are challenged, that there is a change. There is still a lot of work to be done to create a gender-equal world, but collectively we can make a change. 

So, I challenge you to take a photo of yourself in the #ChooseToChallenge pose.

#choosetochallenge

Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you choose to challenge? 

You can submit your #ChooseToChallenge pose on the IWD website and they will be sharing them on their platforms in the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8th. 

All gender identities are welcome and encouraged. 

For teachers, tutors and educators the International Women’s Day downloadable resources can be found here.

Remember that when you #ChooseToChallenge it is not just on International Women’s Day or during the month of March. You #ChooseToChallenge for the year! 

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

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Parents of trans* children

Hi Readers!

In this week’s article I would like to focus on the needs of the parents of trans* children. We mostly focus on the child going through a transition and the impacts and effects it has on their lives – and rightly so! They are the ones that have to deal with a lot of opinions (which they did not ask for), looks, questions, etc. But we also need to think about the parents of these children. They too will get those looks, questions, opinions, etc. They also have needs and will want and need to be supported. 

If you have a friend or family member going through this transition, keep these tips in mind as your friend or relative might not be ready to speak to a Sexologist or Psychologist yet, but they will really appreciate your support. And if you, reader, are a parent of a trans* child, know that I am here for you.

When they’re ready, these parents will want to talk through the experiences and prejudices they are facing as they go through this journey with their child. Lend an ear. Listen to them, hear what they are saying. You will learn so much about what a parent and child are going through during this time. This may also be helpful if you want to be an ally and explain to others that are around this family how they can help rather than being judgmental. 

If you are not equipped with this information, you may want to help them find the information they need about trans*, the different terms, information and clarifications on the steps there child will be going through, deconstruct and demystify all the myths around trans*. In the UK, Mermaids has existed since 1995 to support trans and gender-diverse children.

Parents may want to have discussions with the school and other environments their child may come across to make sure it is a smooth transition and that it is a safe environment for their child. 

Parents of trans* children may feel a sense of guilt, questioning their parenting skills, etc. They will want to talk about their own feelings regarding this; people’s judgement, gaze, questions, concerns, etc. There will also be a stage when they will talk about their child’s future, how they see their child, etc. All you need to do is be supportive and listen. Be present! Show up for your friend or relative.

All parents react differently. In some cases, one of the two parents may be in complete shock and may not want to hear, participate or accept any of this and it can be an additional barrier for the parent and the child. 

When a child is going through a transition, the parents also have to deal with questions from family members and friends and they often find themselves explaining what’s going on repeatedly. This can be tiring and frustrating. So, if you are a family member or friend of parents of trans* children, please be respectful. Give them space. Let them know that you are there for them (if you are actually there for them and not just wanting information…) Just knowing that they have a support system will help a lot. 

There will be a grieving phase as they are losing a child and gaining another. Even though that child may still like the same things, have the same personality, it is not the child that they brought into the world. It is all part of the process. 

And don’t forget that even during all of this and while working through their own feelings, questions and emotions, they will have to support their child and be with them through their process. 

If you are a parent of a trans* child and would like to talk, please contact to set up an appointment. 

If you need any additional information, please contact me on depetrillojulia@gmail.com

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

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