December 8, 2013

HRT Week Three: Flaccid


I am experiencing my first definite effect of HRT: erectile dysfunction. Specifically, the loss of spontaneous erections.

[Oh, I forgot to warn you: we’re going to be talking about naughty bits in this update. NSFW and all that.]

The SOC advises that “decreased spontaneous erection” will begin in 1-3 months, so I guess I’m a little ahead of the curve. How do I know I’ve reached this stage? Well, to be blunt, I haven’t woken up with “morning wood” in nearly a week. If you have a functioning penis, you know that “morning wood’ is a very common occurrence. Not necessarily an “every morning” thing, but definitely a “most mornings” thing. So too is the occasional spontaneous erection during the day, and I haven’t been having those, either.

And no, that does not mean the loss of function altogether. It still works; I tested it — it just needs to be jump-started.

On top of the penile dysfunction, I think I can safely say that there’s some … I guess the right word would be puffiness in my face. That may be a diet thing or a weather thing, but I know that the face filling out is a known effect of HRT, so if it lingers than it is likely a result of the hormone shift. I know that it isn’t a result of weight gain, as I’ve haven’t gained weight in the last three weeks (I’m actually down a few pounds, go me!).

The loss of normal autonomous function is a good first sign. It means that my T levels are dropping and my E levels are rising. The HRT is beginning to do what it’s supposed to do. Even going into this knowing that noticeable effects could take a month or more to manifest, there has been this lingering dread of what if they’re not working? What if I’m estrogen resistantWorrying is a natural part of something like this. So I’m a little relieved today.

Now if only I could get these breasts to grow …

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  • Sheesh! I can almost hear my wife if she were to read this post…”TMI! TMI!”

    Hang in there………………..uh………………on second thought, maybe I need to rephrase that! *** 🙂 ***


      • LOL, Ali! I am presuming that “SOC” means ‘Standard of Care” established by the WPATH. As an aside, I wanted to mention and which you may already know from my blog, is that I was going to be attending the Symposium of the WPATH in Bangkok in conjunction with my GRS in February but my surgeon there, Dr. Preecha, who is on the organizing committee, has informed me it is booked up. It’s no problem because I now get to play tourist for the 5 days of the Symposium to visit a place to which I I have dreamed of going for quite a long time, the Temple ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and will also be able to satisfy my girlish shopping “needs” instead, LOL! My GRS is already scheduled on the second day after the Symposium concludes and therefore sitting on an hour flight, or worse yet, a twelve hour bus ride to the ruins and back and doing a lot of shopping is probably that last thing I would wanting to be thinking about post-op. The trip home will be bad enough but worth all the pain for what I’m about to do.
        Anyway. I have come to learn that there is sometimes a fine line between providing information on “naughty bits” and providing TMI on them. It has taken practice and I have become much more practiced from writing posts on my blog that I began two years ago this month. BTW, I have decided to share my own early experiences on HRT on my own blog and I promise a pingback to this post to give you credit for my inspiration. “Laterz”, as my going on 29 year-old son used to say.

        • Sightseeing in Thailand sounds like a wonderful way to spend your final days pre-op. If nothing else, the fine memories may help distract you from the pain in those first days post-op. 😉

          I don’t generally discuss sensitive bits on this blog, so I may still be finding my balance of subtlety and information. Practice makes perfect, and I don’t intend to stop practicing anytime soon.

          Oh, and yes, SOC is the WPATH standards. I should probably link it each time.

  • Ali, you crack me up. Don’t get me wrong but as I may be missing a case of sardonic humor in your post and apologize if I seem unsympathetic to your anxieties around HRT, but I have gone through many of the same doubts and worries that you are now experiencing and I can tell you from experience that I was once like you in that I would always look for the worst possible scenario instead of focusing on the best possible outcome. I lived with a friend in a platonic relationship for a year who made my anxieties seem like a cakewalk by comparison and from that experience with him, I made a 180 degree turnabout in my thinking with amazing results.
    Take for example, the term “estrogen resistant.” When I clicked on your link, I read that in humans, the condition is rare, rare enough, I presume, that clinical studies of this condition have not been conducted because only one case has been described which is certainly not a big enough sampling of the general population to suggest a possible epidemic.
    If I were you, Ali, I would remember this somewhat contrite aphorism so often repeated that it has become a meme of sorts which goes “No news is good news.”

    • Yes, resistance is really rare, but I think every woman starts out worrying that “this isn’t going to work for me, I’m going to be the one.” It may be part of the larger anxiety that accompanies this major step in the transition process and the larger concern that this isn’t going to work, that one is going to fail at transition, that one won’t become who they want to be. Waiting a month or more for notable signs that HRT is taking effect can be nerve-wracking! Irrational fears they may be, but fears all the same.

      There’s a woman in my group therapy who is several years into her transition and a couple years into HRT, but she still resists taking that step into full-time and insists that she’ll never pass, etc. She uses her job as an excuse for not taking the step, but she’s really just afraid, I think, and irrational, and not at all confident. She’s had some bad family reactions, which can really make one pause.

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