8 years on testosterone
Yesterday was my 8 year T-birthday, I spent it exploring old mining towns in the Colorado mountains. These last 8 years have been a wild ride - I have come so far and learned some much. Here’s to another year of living authentically!
Q:Hi. I haven't started T yet and I know this is pretty hard to rpredict, but I want to hear your opinion. My father is pretty bald, he started balding around 30 and lost most of his hair quickly, but on the other hand my grandpa and uncle (on dad's side) are hairy people with thick hair and I myself have a lot of thick hair as of now. Do you think I might still have my father's genes which will get activated once I start T?
Hard to tell, I recommend reading this article.
Q:does practicing singing/humming at a lower pitch really deepen your voice?
Zak: No, not really. You can make your range bigger, so I guess kind of, but it won’t actually make your normal voice deeper. It will help you stretch your range, though, so it *is* doing *something*.
Q:pros and cons of gel vs. injections?
Zak: I’ve only been on the gel and Adrian has only been on injections, so neither of us can give a breakdown of the pros and cons of both given our own experience. If you’d like to hear from someone who has been on both, I’d recommend asking Chase about what he personally sees as the pros and cons of each. Based on my experiences with Androgel and talking to lots of people on injections, here’s a bit of a list:
Pros: Stable amount of hormones in your system every day (so no peaks and valleys in terms of hormones), no needles, easy to apply without any help/training/experience
Cons: More expensive (especially without insurance), may risk testosterone exposure to others (I haven’t had a problem with this at all, though other people have), have to apply every day
Pros: More affordable, only need to be done once per week (or every other week, depending), no risk of testosterone exposure to others
Cons: Needles, may experience minor emotional symptoms around the end of your hormonal cycle (around the time of your next shot, because of hormone fluctuations)
Some of the cons on either side are deal-breakers for some people. For me, the thought of giving myself a shot once a week was completely out of the question. For someone without insurance that covers HRT, the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on the gel could be infeasible, if not impossible. Also, what might be a con to one person could be a pro to another. For instance, I actually liked having to apply Androgel every day instead of once a week when I first started my transition. I felt like I was working a little bit toward my transition every single day, and I thought that was pretty cool. If I accidentally miss a day it is also much less of a big deal than if someone were to be very late on their shot or skip a week. These days, applying every single day is a part of my morning routine and not really a con to me. For someone else, though, applying everyday might be a huge hassle that wouldn’t be worth it to them.
Either way, you’re getting testosterone in your system. Both ways are pretty much equally safe and effective. The major differences are price, needles, and the risk of exposure to others.
Q:hi, so im pre-t but should be starting in a few months. im gonna use gel. so last month me and some fellow guys were talking about the gel, (only two of us are on t) how to use, how much when and where, etc. so it got me thinking, that when im gonna start using it, how will i apply it and stuff. so i thought that i could smear it to my tummy in like two different spots and them put a huge-ass bandaid over them so it would stain clothes. havent talk about this yet with any one, so, opinions?
Zak: I’m assuming that you are talking about Androgel, which is probably the most common form of non-injectible testosterone in the US. I’ve been on Androgel for coming up on 4 years (it’ll be 4 years in November), so I can hopefully clear things up a bit for you given my experience with the gel. First off, when you get your prescription there will be an information packet that will explain how to apply the gel. There are two major ways the gel is packaged, either in a pump or a packet. Both are packaged in such a way that they easily distribute common doses (for instance, I started out using the packet and my dose was one packet per day, now I’m on the pump and I apply two auctions per day). According to the packet that comes with the prescription, you’re supposed to apply the gel anywhere that would be covered by a typical t-shirt. This is to minimize others’ exposure to the gel. I have a video of myself applying the gel, which gives you a general idea of what that’s like. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what Androgel is actually like, one being that it is sticky and will stain clothes. Androgel is clear and alcohol based. It dries very quickly and if you wait for it to dry before you put on your shirt it shouldn’t stain your clothes (I’ve never had an issue with shirt stains from the gel). If you apply it evenly you shouldn’t have stickiness or residue on your skin. Another thing I want to point out is that a typical dose requires a LOT of gel. It isn’t just a few drops or something like that. I find myself completely covering my back and still sometimes having a little bit left over to put on my stomach or upper arms. I’ve had people comment on my video saying that they heard that you are only supposed to apply it to your arms and shoulders. I’ve based my application spots on the packet contained with my prescription, but you may want to discuss application spots with your doctor to be sure.
We have a little Q&A post on Androgel that answers some common questions on it as well, but if you have any more questions feel free to ask.
Choosing your suit jacket linings are one of the most enjoyable parts of creating a custom suit.
Q:After only a few months on t, I have as much body hair as my cats and already going bald even on a low dose. My dad has an allover pelt and was bald by 16 so no surprise. My levels are ok. I was wondering what causes this, since there are tons of guys, cis and trans, like my bf, who aren't bald with a full body pelt. Is it t turning into dht? Is there something I could take to suppress this? My Dr said I was being silly and vain and unmanly to even care enough to ask him this question. Thanks
Zak: I think it’s really rude of your doctor to say that these questions are silly, vain, or unmanly. It’s extremely common for men to be concerned about balding, just check out ubiquity of commercials hawking products to combat hair loss. To answer your question, basically the reason this is happening to you is simple genetics. As you mentioned, your dad is like this as well. The way I understand it (not sure if I’m using the correct technical language here, I’m a social scientist, not a biologist), basically taking testosterone activates these genes and gives the message to your body to grow hair in certain places, etc. Some people carry the genes to be really hairy, other people don’t. If you hadn’t started testosterone, those genes wouldn’t have been activated and you would’ve presumably been less hairy. I don’t know of any way to suppress balding or hairiness short of going off of testosterone, but we’ve had a few people comment on posts like these with some suggestions. Also, you might want to find a new doctor if at all possible. Your doctor kind of sounds like an asshole.
Q:hey guys, quick question. I had a complete hysterectomy about 9 weeks ago (hooray!) and now my endo is saying that i actually need to increase my T dose. have you heard of this happening? also why would i need to increase my T? thanks!
Adrian: It happened to me too. I was actually really excited about lowering my dose and perhaps moving to a less rigorous injection schedule but alas, my dose was increased and it’s been at that dose for almost 3 years now. I never really asked why, perhaps if you go back to your endo/obgyn soon you could ask and report back! Has this happened to any of our other followers? Any speculation as to why this would be?
Q:How long does Garramone want you to wait before smoking post top-surgery? I couldn't remember if it was 6 weeks or more like 2 or 3 months, and I don't currently have any way to make phone calls, so I can't call to ask. Thanks.
Zak: Try emailing the office, I seem to recall Garramone (or his staff) being good with email. I don’t know the answer to this question, though.