Microdosing testosterone and estrogen can be difficult and doing so correctly is essential. So, we’re here to guide you on safe ways to microdose the male-to-female (MTF) hormone, estrogen, and female-to-male (FTM) hormone, testosterone. If you want to learn more about how to find hormones that affirm your gender identity, get in touch today, and we’ll help you.

What’s the History of Microdosing Testosterone and Estrogen?

Historically, trans women may have obtained a “secret”, low dose of estrogen and enjoyed the subtle effects in private. This route tended to be one favoured by those who, for whatever reason, were unable to come out as their true selves. They certainly couldn’t risk any visibly physical changes that might be brought about by taking a full course of HRT.

Microdosing Testosterone

Microdosing testosterone is a little different than microdosing estrogen, as it involves some physical exercise, a strong and heavy diet, and supplementation.

Below are the ways you can microdose testosterone:

  1. Take vitamins and minerals
    1. Zinc
    2. Vitamin B
    3. Vitamin A
    4. Vitamin C
    5. Vitamin E
  2. Get eight hours of sleep per night
  3. Avoid soybeans, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds
  4. Reduce stress with yoga and minimise cortisol levels
  5. Eat healthy fats, carbs, and plenty of protein
  6. Do strength exercises to increase muscle mass

 

Microdosing Estrogen

Microdosing estrogen is one of the most popular ways to naturally boost estrogen levels. Estrogen is a sex hormone that is produced primarily in females but also in males. Increasing estrogen naturally can be done with a combination of vitamins, herbs, and food.

Below is a list of vitamins that help with estrogen metabolism and production. There are herbs that assist with hormone production and glandular function. The foods, on the other hand, contain high amounts of phytoestrogens.

 

  1. Vitamins
    1. The B vitamins
    2. Vitamin D
    3. Boron
  2. Foods
    1. Soybeans
    2. Sesame seeds
    3. Flax seeds
  3. Herbal supplements
    1. Black cohosh
    2. Chaste berry
    3. Evening primrose oil
    4. Red clover
    5. Dong quai

Why Microdose Testosterone or Estrogen?

Many trans women who come to GenderGP are clear in their gender feelings, but as they have already gone through a full male puberty – and adulthood – their bodies have experienced the full effects of masculinisation. For them, the idea of developing the breasts and curves, that would come with full HRT, can be scary, but that doesn’t take away the desire to try out the hormones. This is why some choose to start off with microdosing estrogen, because they would like to see how it feels.

Some trans men fear the strength of testosterone, as it’s a powerful hormone. Often, they wonder: will it cause too much masculinisation, too quickly? Would it be better to start really slowly and see how things go? Puberty is scary for anyone; imagine if it was your second time around. In these cases, microdosing testosterone might be the preferred option.

More recently, non-binary people, who feel that their gender lies somewhere in the middle of the male/female spectrum, have looked to “neutralise” their hormones. For this group of people, the aim is to get their hormone levels to what might be considered a mid-zone – not too much estrogen and not too much testosterone. Our bodies need hormones, so switching off hormones altogether is not an option. However, balancing the male hormone, testosterone, and the female hormone, estrogen, can be one way of achieving a good “middle ground”.

Transitioning is No Small Feat

There are people who start taking hormones and then stop, and then start again and then stop. Transitioning from a birth-assigned gender and realising one’s true gender identity is no small feat. If you then consider how potentially cold, cruel and unaccepting society can be, is it any wonder that some people choose to take things slowly? The journey can be scary and the desire to “go home” is overwhelming.

The concept of having to “prove” oneself to be emphatically trans masculine or trans feminine in order to qualify for hormones is one with which many gender variant people are all too familiar. So often, we hear from people who say they feel like they have to exaggerate their experience for fear of being refused treatment if they explain that their needs are more subtle.

Gender is a Spectrum

Yet, the more we learn about gender, the more we realise that it isn’t always black and white, male or female. It follows, then, that the degree to which an individual choses to experience hormones should be based entirely on their own personal needs.

Currently, research on the impact of microdosing hormones like testosterone and estrogen is not available. Much of what we have to go on are the firsthand accounts shared by those brave souls who took steps along this path and found the peace they so desperately craved. Often, these were people who tentatively tried out their true gender identity, letting their family and friends come round to the idea slowly. And, through the process something miraculous happened: They found relief.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this blog post and you would like more information, or if you would like to speak to someone about finding the right gender-affirming healthcare for you, please visit our Help Centre.

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Photo by Levi Saunders on Unsplash