Oestrogen Therapy

By Dr. Pauline Cundill. Updated 13th Oct 2014

Talk to your GP about which hormones would suit you. Generally oestradiol is the preferred oestrogen as it can be monitored with routine blood levels, and is thought to be safer than ethinyloestradiol (the oestrogen contained in most contraceptive pills).

Oestradiol is available as tablets, patches or gels.

Some people require an “anti-androgen” to further lower testosterone levels. Spironolactone and androcur (cyproterone acetate) are commonly prescribed at Northside. Ask your GP for further details.

Effects of oestrogen therapy

•Distribution of fat on the hips and increase body fat %

•Reduction in size of penis and testicles

•More difficult to achieve erection and orgasm

•Reduced muscle bulk and power

•Tender and lumpy breast, modest increase in breast size,  (permanent change)

•Weakened facial and body hair

•Slowing of male pattern baldness

•Infertility (variable, may be permanent)

•“Calming”, antidepressant effect

•Softening of the skin

Oestrogen can cause serious side effects such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), particularly in smokers.