Being a trans person means feeling trapped in the wrong body. Thankfully today, this is no longer a life sentence. There are a number of procedures and treatment that you can undergo to transition to the the body you desire.
The solutions availble vary greatly from person to person. For some people, a few simple adjustments may be enough to feel better. These include wearing appropriate clothing, wigs, breast prostheses. For others surgery may be required.
Before surgery is possible, the doctor will refer you to a psychologist or someone who specializes in gender issues. That person will judge if you are actually a trans person and explain the impact of a sex-change operation.
If those conversations have been successful, you can start hormone therapy, possibly supplemented with surgeries. But hormone therapy is always the first step. If you are given hormones, you can already get a taste of what your life would look like after sex surgery. And this therapy is still reversible.
Forms of hormone therapy
Trans men – people with a (predominantly) male gender identity but female birth sex – are given testosterone. As a result, they develop masculine characteristics such as a lower voice and hair growth. For trans women, the reverse is true: testosterone levels are slowed down and they are given estrogens instead. As a result, hair growth stops (for the most part), the body takes on rounder shapes and their voice becomes higher.
After the trial period (usually of a year) you have the chance to complete your transformation by going under the knife. There are many surgical procedures for this: voice surgery, facial surgery, breast augmentation or removal, and sex surgery.
Trans women can have a voice operation performed during their transition that causes the voice to sound more feminine (phono surgery). Furthermore, one can opt for breast augmentation, facial surgery to feminize the face, and sexual surgery. In addition, the penis is almost completely removed and used to construct a vagina: from the anterior part of the glans a clitoris will be made. Parts of the scrotum are used for the construction of the labia majora.
Various operations are also possible for trans men. The breasts are operationally removed and patients can opt for facial surgery to make the face look more masculine. The entire uterus will also be removed, as the ovaries continue to produce estrogen.
For the sex operation, the clitoris – which was developed by hormone use – is used to make a micropenis.
The scrotum is formed from the labia and can be filled with prostheses from silicone gel. In some cases, one can also eventually place a prosthesis to make the penis stiffen.
Betsy is a true science nerd, down to the glasses. Her words, not mine! She works as a nurse specializing in pediatric nursing. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is passionate about all thing pregnancy and baby-related.