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Stopping Testosterone

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Intro [May. 28th, 2010|03:36 pm]
Stopping Testosterone

[Current Location |United States, District of Columbia, Washington]


I'm Max, 19, assigned female at birth, and genderqueer/fag/drag queen-ID'd.  For several years now, I've been playing with the idea of physically transitioning.  I felt like i had to decide between living as a woman and living as a man, and that seemed like an impossible decision to make.  Then, about 6 months ago or so, I found out about the possibility of going on T to get the desired effects, then stopping before things advanced so far that I began being read as male 100%.  I have been talking about this with various people, including my therapist, since then.  The idea continues to intrigue me.

Most of the (man-ID'd) trans guys I know who are on T said that they had an awkward "in-between" period sometime during the first 3-12 (since of course, this is one of those YMMV things) months.  I want to get to that point, then stop.  Looking about 50/50 or maybe 60/40 male/female would work for me.  I realize I can't control how people see me, but I know I want to present myself in a way that feels comfortable and feels like me.  I want a body that I can present as male or androgynous (maybe occasionally female if I have to) depending on the day and the situation I'm in.

I am well aware that nobody can predict or control the effects of T on any given person.  I know it's pretty much a crapshoot and I may end up with acne for 6 months before any facial hair grows in, for example.  Looking at how puberty went for the men in my family, I'd guess that I'd probably get acne (mostly "bacne" since my brother was covered in that all through high school), then grow sideburns and a little bit of body hair.  I also doubt my voice will drop very low, which is good, but it's also not something I'm terribly worried about either.

1. I have heard that going on birth control after stopping T helps skin clear up faster.  Is that true?
2. Do the masculinizing effects of T on the face remain after stopping T?  I've heard different things about this.
3. I read that hair "continues to grow" after T is stopped--I assume this means that any new hair growth will remain and those follicles will continue to be active.  But does this mean additional body hair and facial hair can continue to grow significantly well after T is stopped?
4. I've also heard from some people that new hair growth thins out after T is stopped.  Is this just kind of another YMMV things?
5. One of my biggest concerns, though it's only one I've heard about from 1-2 people in some random internet community, is that after stopping T, the female body won't be able to support the increased vascular needs of the enlarged clitoris, making orgasm extremely difficult to achieve (similarly to cis men whose testosterone levels drop as they get older and make it difficult to maintain erection).  Have any of you guys experienced changes in arousal, orgasmic ability, sexual sensation, orgasmic sensation, etc after stopping T?  

Thanks to anyone who has an answer to ANY of these questions!  I'm also going to discuss this with a doctor but I'd like to gather more information before deciding to go see one.

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To stop or not to stop, that is the question [Dec. 14th, 2009|12:01 pm]
Stopping Testosterone


My name is Patrick. I'm a 22 year old guy living in Nova Scotia, Canada. I've been on testosterone for three years, had chest surgery two and a half years ago, and will be having phalloplasty in the next year. I'm very happy with my transition and live life as a happy man with no regrets.

However I'm at a point now where I'm seriously considering stopping testosterone. Not for any necessary reasons per say such as health-related, it's just with the future prospect of genital surgery; the atrophy of my vagina, the fear of balding, the decrease in range or intensity of emotions, my never-ending acne, that I feel I've gained all the changes T is going to give me, and the fact that on the whole it's just a big pain in the ass. When I first started hormones, I knew I wasn't thinking I wanted it forever. I knew I wanted to be on it for at least long enough to get all of the effects from it that I wanted. I was estimating around five years. Now after three years I think I've received all the changes I'm going to get.

Stopping testosterone raises a lot of new questions, possibilities, and issues. The part that frustrates me most about it is that most of the questions I have, can't be answered till I stop and see for myself. I wonder if I've been on it too long for my body to naturally produce a healthy amount of estrogen again? And if I do start to produce enough estrogen then am I doomed to start the monthly bleeding cycle again? In an attempt to battle that, I could have a endometrial ablation done but that doesn't guarantee it to cease forever. Or I could have a hysterectomy and leave the ovaries in, but there's still a risk of the ovaries not working. I had acne prior to starting testosterone, so who's to say that it would stop when the testosterone stops? I was a teenager then so it is possible that I might have outgrown it by now, but maybe not. Maybe I'm just one of those unfortunate people that will always have acne. I'm scared to lose my dick growth because I've grown quite large and I need it to be as large as possible before surgery.

Questions I have for the community:

What changes have you noticed after stopping T?
Did you lose facial or body hair?
Did you regain some hair on your head if you had lost any while on T?
Did you lose some of your growth downstairs?
Did you lose muscle?
Did you gain more fat in the hips?
Did your acne go away or less severe?
Did your voice get higher?
Did your libido change?
Did your emotional range change?
Did you have endometrial ablation to stop periods?
Did you have tubal ligation done to protect against pregnancy?
Did you have a hysterectomy done leaving the ovaries?
Have you had any of the above medical procedures done while being legally male?
Did you use DHT cream or other alternatives to keep the size of your dick?
If you had chest surgery, did you experience growth again?
What form of testosterone administration were you on shots/gels/patches/etc and how did you stop?
Did you ween off of then slowly or just cold turkey?

It's a lot of questions, but these are some of the things I'm wondering. Thanks!
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Full disclosure to docs [Nov. 2nd, 2009|09:02 am]
Stopping Testosterone
[Current Location |Washington, DC]

Any chances that I can be honest with the endo up front about wanting to be on T for only a year or so? Or should I just fake it and pretend I'm in it for the long haul. How open minded can I expect the doc to be? Now... this will be a doc intimately involved with the TG community at our local LGBT clinic.

I've already had a hysto, so stopping won't be a problem re: that. I just want about a year of benefits before I have top surgery.

Anyone fully disclosed their plan up front?

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Stopping T cream/gel [Jun. 17th, 2009|01:37 am]
Stopping Testosterone

Has anyone here been on the cream or gel and stopped? Did you stop cold turkey or slowly taper your dosage down to nothing? I'm going to be coming off of T cream (5mg daily) and I was wondering how other people have stopped taking it.
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Transitioning [Mar. 12th, 2009|04:41 pm]
Stopping Testosterone

Hey everyone. I just stumbled across this community today, and I'd like to briefly introduce myself and ask some questions.

Essentially, I'm very confident in identifying as a "genderqueer" or "trans" guy who's incredibly physiologically disconnected from how my body developed after estrogen kicked in. However, I'm also a bit of a health nut - I've never tried a drug in my life, never sipped alcohol, etc. Making the decision to start taking testosterone 3 months ago was a very difficult one, but one that I felt like I had to do in order to make a compromise between what my mind wants (male body) and what my body truly is.

What oriented from this notion of "compromise" and concern about my health was a plan of transition, which I outlined in my blog post here: http://www.humancomplaints.com/2008/12/transitioning.html

(Taking T for approximately 4 years in order to gain as many irreversible secondary sex characteristics as my body can muster, and hopefully hold on to, then stopping T and resorting to work out and diet)

If any of you have any input based on your own experiences with stopping T, especially after a number of years, please share it with me. Particularly in regards to health and what secondary sex characteristics remain, especially body/facial hair. Thank you!
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Documentary about stopping T [Jan. 4th, 2009|12:39 pm]
Stopping Testosterone
I've been doing a lot of research about stopping T and have been trying to find other peoples stories about stopping, why they did it, etc. I was unable to find much at all in terms of what I've been looking for. This group is the closest thing and it's not super active so...I'm thinking very seriously about making a documentary about those of us trans people who start T and then stop or think about stopping. I have a background in film making and through friends lending me equipment should have the means to actually make it happen. I'm hoping to find around 5 of us to profile in the film. I basically want to interview people and ask them about their experience. I want people to talk about:
* Why they started Testosterone.
* When they started did they see themselves as being on T forever, or were they
planning on stopping.
* Why they stopped.
* Do they plan on going back on T, etc.

I imagine that through these basic subject outlines, much more will get discussed such as pressure from Trans communities and the straight world to take hormones and pass as well as possible, identity fluidity and changes, etc.

If anyone thinks that they may be at all interested please let me know. Tell me a little bit about your experiences. If anyone has any ideas/suggestions they would be greatly appreciated too.

I just think that this is a story not often told and that it's important to share so that others can understand and not feel so alone in their feelings.

Happy New Year to everyone.

-kade cosmok22@hotmail.com
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Intro [Nov. 2nd, 2008|09:29 pm]
Stopping Testosterone
I have been thinking about stopping T for some time now. I finally hit that point of clarity where I said "Yes. I need to stop". I had been waiting for this. To have a point where I knew that I should stay on it or stop. The question of what to do has been plaguing me for probably the last year.
Now that I've made the decision I'm very excited. It feels very similar to the excitement I had when starting T.
I started T at 15 and was on for about 2 1/2 years. I started to feel invisible and like I was losing a part of myself. I passed 100% of the time it started to feel awful. There were so many reasons I needed to stop, so many I still can't articulate.
I was off for about 2 years and it was amazing. I was completely androgynous. I feel half and half, neither, I felt like I was every gender encompassed into one person. I had never felt so good or alive or proud of who I was.
But gradually this feeling faded and I started to feel angry inside. I started to especially hate bio-men, even friends that I loved, I began to hate on some level. This was fueled by how un-friendly the world is to people that look like masculine females or queers. This was fueled by the comments by men and them trying to grope me on the street late at night. I couldn't take it and I needed to go back on T before I did something violent. I had been carrying a knife around and came close to using it and at that point I decided to go back on.
Now I have been on T for 3 years and the same feelings have been creeping up in me like the first time I stopped.
Today was the first day that I reduced my dose. I hope to be completely off in two months. I hope I can go back to looking andro but we'll see it. And my voice can always help if I need to pass as male, which I'll need to do for work.
I'm also going to document the process of going off hormones with photos and maybe do an art show in a year or so. I want to include writing that I do through out this process.
I don't like to say I'm "transitioning back". I feel that we can only go forward. And that we take with us what we have already experienced. I hope I can deal better this time around without the T. Someone recently told me that they feel most comfortable being in a state of change. I thought that this was a beautiful and perfect way of saying it.
So this is my intro. I'm looking forward to sharing my experience here and hope to talk to some of you too.
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(no subject) [Feb. 6th, 2008|09:18 pm]
Stopping Testosterone

I've been off of testosterone since the end of August 2007 which is nearing 6 months now. 
This is just an update to let y'all know what it's like for me after being off T for 6 months.  Any questions for me or anything you want to add feel free to comment. 
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FTM Novel [Jan. 17th, 2008|12:26 pm]
Stopping Testosterone

A bit of shameless self-promotion. I've just completed my first novel, Becoming Alec.

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acne and t/stopping t [Dec. 31st, 2007|04:54 pm]
Stopping Testosterone
i just posted this to the ftm community and was directed here ... seems like it's not super active around here but i thought i'd give it a shot:

i looked in the tags but couldn't find anything about this. has anyone gone off of testosterone for any reason after being on it for a while - more than 6 months? if anyone feels comfortable sharing their experience with that, i'd really like to hear about it, in terms of the way they look and feel after being off of T.

part of why i am thinking about this is because of some medical issues that have developed since starting, including the severe level of acne I developed after 6 months on T. i've now been on T for a year, and i have tried just about every soap, cream, gel, antibiotic, diet change, and herbal remedy offered to me but nothing has made any impact. i'm on accutane but am not seeing any results, though i'm aware there's still hope that accutane may make things better with more time.

did anyone have severe cystic acne that eventually got better/went away after a while on T (or after they discontinued HRT), or after switching the form of T they were on? of course i know this will vary person to person, but i'd like to hear about some different folks' experiences.

thanks for any help - this is all very frustrating.

If you'd feel more comfortable talking via email, my address is hbkeenan at gmail dot com.
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