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Changes on testosterone gel (2 weeks)

August 17, 2010

Before starting T, I thought that for the first few months I’d write down/photograph/film every tiny change, post about it, and annoy the heck out of my readers. However, I haven’t felt that urge, although I know I should start documenting the process so I can look back in the future. Also, I’d like to share my experience here because  most blogs/vlogs are about changes on testosterone injections, which is why I felt so in the dark when I was prescribed T gel (besides, there are lots of myths going around about transdermal T — more on that later).

As of today, I’m fifteen days on T. I didn’t expect to see any changes within the first month or two: both the doctor and the info I found online warned me to be very patient while on the gel. So imagine my surprise when, on the second day, I felt my vocal cords aching! I thought that I might be coming down with something, but I didn’t get sick, so I guess it was the T. From that moment on, I’ve intermittently felt that same tension in my larynx (not exactly pain; it’s analogous to how your muscles feel when you stretch), and since the sixth day I’ve had the feeling of having something stuck in my throat that lots of guys talk about.

At first I could hardly believe this was happening so early on, but I guess it’s plausible because my voice hasn’t actually changed yet: I can just feel it preparing –slowly– to do so. Still, I find myself gravitating towards the lower portion of my vocal range, where I could previously only go when I was waking up or sleepy.

On the tenth day I was rubbing my chin and noticed it felt furrier than usual. Before T I already had a few thick and dark hairs, besides the peach fuzz and the in-between (dark but thin) hairs that cover my whole beard area. Now my entire chin is starting to fill in with thin hairs, and a few of the thin hairs are becoming thick.

That’s pretty much it, but I’m really excited about what’s happening: facial hair and vocal changes are what I was most looking forward to. I’m so glad that I’m noticing some progress; it takes all the anxiety out of going slowly, and I’ve actually started to enjoy going at this pace. Since I know that I shouldn’t expect anything drastic just yet, I don’t pay that much attention to my body, and so I was pleasantly surprised by the changes that have happened, which are tiny but important.

Also, I think it’s beautiful that I’m starting in the middle of winter, when we know the land is starting to prepare for spring even if there are few visible signs. I think that my body is absorbing the T in much the same way, and if my estimations are correct, my changes should start really coming in around the same time that the Earth bursts into flower. It’s going to be stunning.

Technicalities: every day, I apply 5 grams of 1% testosterone gel (that makes 50 milligrams of T). It’s enough for many cis men to maintain their hormone levels if they don’t produce enough/any T, and it seems to be an average starting dose for trans men, although many have it increased after a doctor checks their blood levels. I think that 5g might work for me because I’m a small person, but we’ll see when I get my levels tested. I’m happy with my dose for now.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Terry permalink
    August 22, 2010 10:52 am

    Wow, I got excited just reading this :)

    Also, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (I think I also commented on something sometime in the past) and I wanted to let you know how grateful I am that you’re sharing your experiences with us. Thanks a lot and all the best to you.

  2. September 18, 2010 6:21 pm

    I haven’t been back to your blog in a bit, but I’m glad I stopped by! Congrats on starting T. I was on the gel for a while. It turned out that I didn’t absorb enough to keep my hormone levels high enough, but I do think it would have been a great way to start on T. Now I am injecting, but I am injecting in my stomach fat much like a diabetic insulin shot. It makes my body absorb it much more slowly which prevents all the highs and lows. My doctor says it’s not necessarily an approved treatment but he has been having lots of success with it.

    I totally understand the impulse not to write or document. Sometimes you just need to sit with yourself and experience. It’s hard to pay attention to the ride if you’re always trying to write it down. Enjoy yourself and the upcoming experiences. There will be a lot of wonderful, annoying and magical changes.

  3. November 3, 2010 12:01 pm

    Conrats, man. I started on gel myself and my voice starting to go wacky after a couple of weeks. Of course, that was over 4 years ago, lol.

    I’m imagine you have plenty of people to talk with about this but if you have any questions feel free to drop me a line.

  4. February 20, 2011 2:00 am

    I’m also on the gel (same dose as you) and I think it’s annoying how people say that the changes are significantly slower. I didn’t experience that at all, and it seems like you didn’t either. When I started the gel people acted like it wasn’t as big of a deal and that I would eventually switch to injections in order to “really” transition.
    Good to see another guy having good experiences with the gel : )

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