Self Care on HRT

By Dr. Pauline Cundill. Updated 13th Oct 2014

Hormone treatment is usually life long.

Physical changes on hormone therapy can take a number of months, for example breast development on oestrogen therapy can take up to 2 years. It is common to feel frustrated with the pace of change during the initial months after commencing hormones. It is important not to exceed the prescribed dose of hormones as this can be harmful (for example increased risk of deep vein thrombosis on higher oestrogen dose).

Some people buy hormones off the internet. Again this is not recommended as regular health checks may not occur, and the quality of hormones off the internet may be poor and inconsistent.

Whilst taking hormone therapy it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly is good for your physical and mental health. Obesity can undermine your hormone treatment, and smoking is particularly dangerous as it increases your thrombosis (blood clot) risk.

Talk to your GP if you need help with quitting smoking.

Most people feel relieved and happy when they start hormones or puberty blockers. It can also be a difficult time, and some people experience depression, anxiety or stress symptoms whilst transitioning. Depression can sometimes be a side effect of the hormone medication.

Talk to your GP if you are experiencing depression or anxiety symptoms as there are many treatments available.

Some people choose to cease hormone therapy for a variety of reasons. This may be due to a change in gender identity, side effects from medications, or others choose to take a temporary break from hormones to start a family.