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Author Topic: influencing T levels in women as versus men  (Read 4413 times)

essjay24

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influencing T levels in women as versus men
« on: February 05, 2012, 06:22:58 am »
Hi, this is my first post.  And my query's kind of odd; I hope you'll bear with me :)

I'm female-born and female-bodied, and on the transgender spectrum.  The standard of care re:  getting prescribed T is pretty high, when you're trans, and I don't meet it.  (Long story short, most doctors will want me to live full-time as a man for six months.  I want to be more male, but I'm not a man outright, so I'm not interested in taking that route at this point.)

So in lieu of being prescribed T (or buying it off the street, shudder) I want to tweak my own hormones, myself.  Yes, I know this is potentially risky business, but whatever I do I plan to take it slow, change only one variable in my system at a time, examine the results closely, and generally not screw up my body.  I know that the results won't make me grow a penis or anything (!), but more muscle mass and strength, smaller breasts and hips -- these would make me happy.

There's a lot of advice and research out there about how men can increase their T levels but very little about how women or otherwise female-bodied folks can.  There do seem to be differences in what influences what hormones:  I see that for instance some herbal supplements (I think Tribulus is one of them but I could be misremembering) increase testosterone levels in men, but progesterone levels in women.  I also see as I'm doing research that some phytoestrogens bond to estrogen receptors and block more effective estrogens from bonding on those sites, which further masculinizes men, but I'm not sure that it would work that way for me (and I'm not sure what these desirable phytoestrogens are).  And so on.

Right now I'm taking a lot of common-sense sorts of measures.  I get enough sleep and I work out for muscle, and I stay sexually active (although I've heard that the hormones released for women upon orgasm are different from those for men, which gives me pause).  I'm planning to cut down on alcohol (not that I'm much of a drinker in the first place) and I'm considering taking some more herbal supplements to increase general liver function, since I gather that the liver is what breaks down estrogen.

But what else can I do -- as a person in a female body, with female hormones -- to increase my testosterone levels?  How does the advice given to men change when the advice is given to women instead?  Does it change?

PeakT

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Re: influencing T levels in women as versus men
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 07:34:25 am »
Well, first of all, I have to admit that I'm not that good with female health issues.  I've always found trying to understand women is dangerous at best!

But let me bring up an important subject or two that you need to talk to with someone very knowledgeable in these areas:

1.  Female to male transexuals given testosterone actually began to develop PCOS like pathologies, or medical problems.  This can't be good.  As you may know, the classic case with PCOS is weight gain, which increases insulin, which increases androgens (like T) and then you get the classic polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms:

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/62/1/16.short

2.  Females given T actually developed a significant increase in visceral fat, the deadly "belly fat" that is associated generally with males.  Again, this can't be good.

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/82/7/2044.short

3.  Again, as you probably know, testosterone in females comes primarily from the adrenals.  If you try to get more production out of the adrenals, you risk overstimulating other hormones.  For example look at this study of depressed women:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306453000000238

Now I realize that you're talking about just enhancing testosterone somewhat and that this could be somewhat of a different matter.  Furthermore, some middle-aged women take testosterone to enhance libido, etc.  Nevertheless, I think it is critical that you find an expert who can really advise you as to the long term safety of this sort of strategy.

Let us know what you find out if you have time.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 07:40:58 am by PeakT »
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Re: influencing T levels in women as versus men
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 07:34:25 am »