Patch Day

Image from the Jessie 
Hart Archives

I am on estradiol patches I change twice a week. The hormonal patches help to make me who I am and have been fortunate to be prescribed them for years.

Early on progress was slow as I was prescribed the minimal amount of hormones by my doctor. I remember vividly the night I asked my future wife Liz out on New Years Eve when I started my gender affirming hormones. It was a very big night. Initially I began my dosage on pills which as I said were very minimal in dosage. 

Even on the minimal amounts I still felt changes beginning to take place. Possibly because I was already in my sixties and my testosterone levels were decreasing anyhow so there were fewer hormones to do battle with. At any rate, I was beginning to see (or feel) changes primarily in my breasts. Before I knew it, I was experiencing problems finding shirts which were loose enough to not show my protruding breasts. Little did I know, there was so much more to come.

What happened was, when my doctor determined I was not experiencing any ill effects from the new hormones, I was cleared for a higher dosage. With a higher dosage came more changes which I needed to deal with and the changes forced my hand on when I thought I would need to go public as a transgender woman. At the time, as predicted by my doctor, my hair began to grow as fast as my new breasts. More importantly though were the internal changes which were beginning to take place along with the external softening of my skin and facial lines. 

Of course the internal changes were less noticeable in the beginning because I was still so obsessed with my feminine appearance. All the way to the point of thinking my appearance was the reason I went through with HRT or GAH. 

The more I became one with the new hormones which were allowed to invade my old male body, the more I began to understand the process. I really began to change when I switched my health care to the Veteran's Administration and began seeing a new endocrinologist who almost immediately changed my dosage from pills to patches so the new method would provide less wear and tear on my inner organs. At the same time, we discussed upping my dosage slightly as well as how I used my testosterone reducing medication (Spiro) at the same time. 

All of this was working together to provide me with significant internal changes. Suddenly, I could cry for the first time in my life as well as feel my world around me soften. I was more sensitive to temperature changes as well as noticing a big improvement in my sense of smell. Through it all, I even experienced my first feminine hot flashes which initially made me think I was going to internally combust. Little did I know at the time I was just going through another gender puberty in my life. As far as more external changes went, finally I started to develop hips for the first time ever.

Perhaps I am a little dramatic when I think my estradiol patches helped me to become the person I am today. Plus I never forget, how blessed I was with having the health to undertake such a radical hormonal shift in my body. I know so many who couldn't. I know also, so many other transgender women who prefer injections over patches to deliver their life changing hormones. For what ever reason, I have never had much of a problem having the patches adhere to my skin and seem to deliver an overall smoother dosage over the span of a week. That of course, is only my perspective.

Then again, there are those of you who naturally have a higher level of estrogen in your body and don't require gender afforming hormones at all to help you feel secure as a transgender woman. Whatever works, more power to you.