Progesterone is widely used by MtF & AMAB transgender women.
Interestingly enough, Progesterone’s benefits for AMAB transgender women are vast.
We ask, can it help with breast growth?
Alternatively, does it help with mood, skin, joints, general wellbeing?
Nonetheless, some feel with unrelenting conviction that progesterone helps.
On the contrary, Other patients have concerns about the hormone’s impact on their health.
*Please note: We use both AMAB (assigned male at birth) and MtF (male-to-female) interchangeably for understanding across all age groups, cultures, genders, and identities. For more information. check out our glossary of terms.
Using Progesterone as an MtF Trans Woman
The benefits outlined below rely on research conducted on women. In addition to research, we have anecdotal evidence from MtF trans women. Despite this research, progesterone may not act the same way for everyone. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.
It might be clear to some, that trans women who undergo HRT rely on oestrogen and puberty blockers. We ask, can progesterone treatment for AMAB trans women aid transition? Below, We list the benefits of adding progesterone to your hormone regime.
Progesterone Benefits for MtF Trans Women
- Using Estrogen with Progesterone increases bone density in the spine.
- According to research, progesterone has a positive impact on sleep.
- As suggested by one study, it reduces the impact of hot flushes.
- It can improve estrogen withdrawal. Improving mood and reducing stress and symptoms.
- Decrease in male pattern hair growth.
- Reduction in oily skin.
- Reducing male body odour patterns.
- Increased breast growth.
Studies in cis women have confirmed it! Using oestrogen together with progesterone increases bone mineral density in the spine.
Progesterone’s Benefits for Sleep, Anxiety, and Mental Health for AMAB people
AMAB progesterone use has been shown to impact sleep with positive results. At this time, multiple studies have affirmed progesterone’s anti-anxiety properties. LGBT people are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Caused by numerous sociological factors, progesterone can help alleviate these stresses. Trans people are more likely to suffer from such stresses, in addition to the stress of transitioning. This includes work stress, alcohol addiction, and relationship issues. Thus, MtF progesterone use for its anti-anxiety characteristics may prove beneficial to AMAB Trans People.
Progesterone’s Beneficial Impact on Smoking Cessation and Nicotine Addiction in AMAB people
In the UK, LGBT people are 45% more likely to experience nicotine addiction. Compared to non-LGBT people, 23.1% of LGBT people were addicted to nicotine. This is compared to just 15.9% of non-LGBT people. In one survey, 32% of trans people reported experiencing nicotine addiction.
With this in mind, multiple studies proved progesterone might alleviate the anxiety-like symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
“During acute smoking abstinence, high levels of progesterone have been associated with lower negative affective states in nicotine-dependent women.”
Supporting this, another study found reduced cortisol responses (decreased stress) to stressful events in women with nicotine withdrawal. These women had high levels of progesterone.
Read more from GenderGP:
MtF Progesterone Benefits for Estrogen Withdrawl and Menopause
Estrogen therapy withdrawal can trigger hot flushes. Withdrawl from estrogen is common before gender affirmation surgery. Prior to the operation, estrogen therapy must discontinue. Here, using progesterone before surgery may help to relieve symptoms.
Progesterone Side-Effects for AMAB People
Progesterone’s side effects are minimal. Despite this, side effects can occur in some patients. Below, you’ll find a list of progesterone side effects. If you experience any of the progesterone side effects listed below in an acute or prolonged manner, please contact a GP or medical professional
- breast pain or tenderness
- joint, muscle or bone pain
- mood swings
- problems urinating
Importantly, the side-effects listed above can be mild. Most of them should alleviate within a day and may not be related to progesterone use.
Equally important, is that trans women on progesterone pills may have a small increased risk of developing breast lumps, which in some cases may be malignant. In addition, The RCSP released a statement on the matter. In short, It addressed a publicized review in The Lancet on the matter of progesterone use and the possibility of an increased risk of cancer.
Conclusively, the review findings help us to guide the type of HRT regime administered and the duration of the HRT treatment. Understandably, patients must weigh the cancer risk against the benefits of using progesterone.
Can AMAB People Take Progesterone Without Estrogen? What are the benefits?
You can! It’s common for people to take progesterone without estrogen. One example would be when MtF trans women who are on HRT cease estrogen therapy. When estrogen therapy is ceased, patients use progesterone to alleviate menopausal symptoms. It can also help keep bones strong during this period.
Read more from GenderGP:
Conclusions On Progesterone’s Benefits & Adding Progesterone to Your AMAB Hormone Regime
Finally, there are types of micronized progesterone for MtF trans women. Thankfully. they have not been found to cause these issues. Reportedly, the general consensus amongst specialists is that they are safe.
Conversely, some centres adhere to old school protocols. Obviously, these protocols do not include the option of progesterone for AMAB trans people. On an informed consent basis, Progesterone is off the cards. Sadly, thhis leaves UK-based patients with one option. That is to use private services such as GenderGP to try progesterone.
Notwithstanding, there is very little research to back anything up. Anecdotal reports from MtF trans women suggest very positive outcomes. Given in the right form, Progesterone is very safe and delivers beneficial results.
Talk to your medical provider and ask them the pros and cons of micronised progesterone.
With this in mind, the aim should be to replicate the hormones of cis women in AMAB trans women. Accordingly, Cis women have progesterone. In conclusion, It stands to reason that it should be factored into AMAB trans healthcare. Similarly, more research is needed to provide the necessary evidence. However, we feel that the evidence points to good results with no reports of harm.
- Prior, J. (2019). Progesterone Is Important for Transgender Women’s Therapy—Applying Evidence for the Benefits of Progesterone in Ciswomen. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 104(4), pp.1181-1186.
- Deutsch, M. (2019). Overview of feminizing hormone therapy | Transgender Care. [online] Transcare.ucsf.edu. Available at: https://transcare.ucsf.edu/guidelines/feminizing-hormone-therapy [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].