Changes on testosterone gel (2 weeks)
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.