Feminization is the process by which a transfeminine person makes their face and body more feminine through hormone therapy and / or gender reassignment surgeries . This process is part of the medical transition.
A transgender woman (someone who has been designated male and is female) may aspire to feminization because she wants her appearance to validate her gender identity . The therapy and procedures you undergo will be aimed at removing male characteristics (such as Adam's apple) and stimulating or adding female characteristics (such as breast augmentation) to your appearance.
A transgender person is someone who identifies with a gender other than that associated with the gender assigned to them at birth.
Gender transition is the process transgender people go through to match their desired gender. Not all transgender people will want to undergo therapy or surgery as part of gender reassignment.
In addition to the medical transition, transgender people can also go through a social transition that involves changing their name, pronouns, and gender expression (how someone presents their gender to others).
Gender theorist Judith Butler said that a person's gender is socially constructed through their environment and the people around them. If someone's family treats a person as the same gender, that person can also perceive their gender.
Transgender people can struggle with gender identity in early childhood and later in life and experience gender dysphoria (the feeling that their gender assigned at birth does not match the gender they identify with).
Transgender people may prefer feminizing medical procedures to express their gender more accurately. These treatments and therapies can make transgender people feel more comfortable in their bodies.
Hormone therapy feminization, also called feminizing hormone therapy, is achieved by two mechanisms: by suppressing androgenic effects and by inducing traditionally female physical characteristics. This is done using prescription anti-androgens and estrogens.
To suppress androgens, your doctor may prescribe medications that:
- It disrupts the binding of androgens to their target sites.
- It disrupts the production of testosterone and the metabolism of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
- It suppresses the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which regulates the production of luteinizing hormone.
- Interrupt the production of luteinizing hormone, which causes the testes to produce testosterone.
These hormones contribute to the development of masculinity in adults.
To induce female physical characteristics, the doctor will prescribe estrogens, which can feminize a person by altering the distribution of fat, shaping the breasts, and reducing androgenetic alopecia.
Estrogen is the mainstay of feminizing hormone therapy, but by itself it is usually not sufficient to achieve the desired androgen suppression. Additional antiandrogen therapy is also usually needed.
Estrogen can be taken by mouth, by injection, or through a skin patch. Each method has its pros and cons.
- Intramuscular (IM) estrogen is usually given once a week or once every two weeks.
- Estrogen skin patches and topical gels can be applied to the skin daily or once a week, depending on the formulation.
- Oral estrogens, which are usually taken daily, can be dangerous, including the risk of blood clots.
Transgender women are prescribed antiandrogen medications that can prevent erections, facial hair growth, and male pattern baldness.
- Spironolactone is used to reduce body hair and hormonal acne.
- Cyproterone reduces masculine features. Side effects include depression and increased liver enzyme levels. It is not currently used in the United States due to concerns about liver toxicity.
- Gisthrelin is used by transgender youth to block puberty. Using puberty blockers at an early age can prevent facial hair growth, shoulder enlargement, and genital enlargement.
Side effects of antiandrogens include:
- Low libido
- Weight gain
- Hepatic injury
During the first year of hormone therapy, fat deposits will redistribute, muscle mass will decrease, and skin will become smoother. Breast growth can occur after three to six months.
Gender confirmation surgery
Sex reassignment surgery was previously known as sex reassignment surgery. The updated name is used because the procedure is now recognized as confirming a person's gender identity, rather than changing it.
Surgery can usually start after a year of hormone therapy.
- Gender reassignment surgery includes many different types of facial and body feminization surgeries.
- Body feminization procedures are divided into "upper" and "lower" operations.
Hospitals generally offer gender reassignment surgery through their transgender medicine department or center.
Facial feminization surgery
Facial feminization surgery includes cosmetic surgeries aimed at feminizing facial features. These procedures can be done over time or all at once.
Facial feminization surgeries include:
- Brow lift: make the shape and position of the eyebrows feminine
- Jaw Surgery – Includes shaving the jaw bones to smooth the angle.
- Rhinoplasty – Narrows the nose.
- Chin reduction : softens the angles of the chin.
- Enlarged cheekbones: can be improved with collagen injections.
- Changes in the hairline: reduces hair loss
- Shaving the windpipe: reduces the size of the Adam's apple
Gluteoplasty is done to create fuller, rounder buttocks by grafting fat from other parts of the body. It takes the body time, up to a year, for new blood vessels to form and noticeable results are obtained.
Buttock plasty can also be performed with buttock implants, which are inserted to increase the area. This is an option for people who don't have as much fat. Large implants are associated with implant rupture and scar tissue around the implant.
Breast augmentation surgery can increase the size, shape, and fullness of transgender women's breasts. During surgery, saline or silicone implants are placed near the chest wall muscle.
A penectomy removes part or all of the penis. A complete penectomy removes the entire penis, where the doctor creates a new urinary opening.
This surgery removes the testicles, which decreases testosterone production. Orchiectomy is an option for those who cannot take hormones or testosterone blockers. Once the testicles are removed, transgender women receive low doses of estrogen.
In vaginoplasty , also called transfeminine floor surgery, a vagina is created from the inverted skin of the penis.
After surgery, patients begin to expand the vagina using dilators, which are conical objects that hold the vaginal canal open. Usually the surgeon will provide a set of dilators. There will be pain when the dilator is injected with a water-based lubricant.
After vaginoplasty, women can still have an orgasm by stimulating the clitoris.
The vulvoplasty procedure creates areas outside the vaginal canal. The surgeon will create the clitoris , the inner and outer labia, the urethral opening, and the vaginal opening.
Transgender women can also choose to feminize their voice. Surgical procedures include shortening and thinning the vocal cords. This will raise the tone of the person's voice.
Voice therapy with a speech therapist can help you change the sound and pitch of your voice after surgery.
Get the word of drug information
Not all transgender people resort to surgery, it is their choice. However, many transgender people are considering having surgery to physically match their gender. Feminizing treatments and therapies can reduce emotional stress and improve quality of life for transgender women and non-binary transfeminine people. However, consultations, hormones and surgeries are very expensive. Insurance may not cover costs.
If you are interested in surgery or feminization therapy, consult your doctor, find out what options you have and remember that this is your way.