Being off testosterone
I started hormones over five months ago, but hesitate to say that I’m “five months on T” because there was a 4-week period during which I had no (synthetic) testosterone in my body. I needed to get a new prescription from my doctor, and went later than I should have (it was exam season); then I discovered that my insurance would cover part of the cost (yay!), and the paperwork took some time.
I noticed some people wondering what would happen if they skipped an injection or two, and I wanted to share my experience. What happened to me might not happen to everyone –I had been on T for only four months, and not everyone’s body works the same way– but I thought it was worth telling.
My body told me it was time for my next shot before I had even checked the calendar. It was the last week of school and despite being excited, I felt I lacked physical energy. I also had no appetite and started skipping meals, but I didn’t know if these things were due to my hormone levels or to the intense summer heat. I only confirmed that it was hormone-related when I re-started T and began to enjoy food and exercise again.
These changes (or reversal of changes) were only mildly disappointing, but I felt really frustrated that my voice was going back. I don’t think it happened to my average speaking voice, but before stopping I had been pushing into a lower, more resounding range –especially when I sang– and I couldn’t reach that anymore. I did regain the ability to sing higher. I had mourned the loss of that ability, but losing my new lower voice felt worse (so now I know that losing a high voice was worth it).
What really scared me was the prospect of getting a period (I had my last one two days after starting T). Towards the end of my no-T interval I had dreams that I was menstruating, and that freaked me out because I used to have those dreams immediately before actually getting a period. I was lucky, though, and it didn’t happen.
Although I’m frustrated to have gone backwards with my transition –now, three weeks after a shot, I’ve only just regained the changes I’d experienced– I appreciate the opportunity I had to rethink and confirm my decision. I am more certain than ever that this is the right choice for me, at least for now.