This is my first post here - I hope it's in the correct 'circle'. I am a lesbian who desisted from transitioning after sitting on the waiting list for the GIC in the UK. My main reason for desisting was the unbelievable fact that it was so hard to find information on the long term side effects of FTM surgeries and hormone therapy. As I have PCOS, my testosterone levels are 3x that of other women my age, and my lifetime risk of a heart attack is twice my peers. The idea that the smaller female heart could cope with such huge levels of testosterone seemed crazy to me.
It was only when I came across, essentially, tales of woe, that I realised I could not go through with it, which lead me to realise how terrifyingly bad my internalised misogyny had become, that I could discount the risks and go through with something like this in my 20s.
The only problem is that the tales of woe are not that easy to find, are research scant, and not widely shared, especially if you move in the r/ftm or r/traaaans (or however many aaas it is!) circles. So I hope this is okay, but I'd like to create a post about these side effects and the devastating consequences that girls and women are experiencing, and maybe someone else will stumble across it and make a more informed decision. Some will be anecdotal as I cannot find studies (due to the fact that TRAs quash studies so frequently).
TESTOSTERONE 'T' THERAPY
Testosterone therapy is not safe for even MEN to take, one study of nearly 3000 men showed a 50% increase in heart problems - Men have 50% increased risk of heart attack
Testosterone therapy 'advances bone age in children' (as some under 18s are currently being prescribed, or buying testosterone online) - advanced bone age in children - Bone damage
Testimony of a woman on testosterone for over three years; she experienced, amongst other things, "High blood pressure in hypertension stage one, Glaucoma developing from ocular hypertension (from hormone fluctuations), Eye twitching/Dryness/Seeing spots & flashes, Migraines (1-4 times a week), Debilitating body aches, Sciatic leg pain that would wake me up, Chest pain/Shortness of breath/Heart flutters/Palpitations, Severe uterus cramping, Vaginal atrophy, Constant dizziness, Scalp soreness/tenderness from rapid hair loss, Protein in my urine during pee tests, Rise in bad cholesterol on blood tests, depression, emotional changes" - Testimony of 3+ years on testosterone
Blood levels of testosterone can lead to increased of risk of type 2 diabetes - Study on diabetes risk and hormone levels in women and men
Losing almost all hair within a month and developing diabetes - r/detrans losing hair and diabetes
Buck Angel (one of the oldest FTMs I have come across, certainly seems to have been on testosterone the longest), had vaginal and reproductive organ atrophy which caused a deadly infection, nearly killing them - NSFW (GORY) Buck Angel post about reproductive atrophy
Detrans woman developed fatty liver and pain after 7 yrs on T - r/detrans fatty liver
Severe pain at the point of orgasm, further reducing sexual function - Testosterone causing pain at orgasm
Detrans woman describes seizures, unpleasant body and genital odour, migraines, poor blood circulation from thicker blood that causes numb/cold hands and feet - r/detrans seizures, migraines etc.
I often see it touted that heart attack risk for FTMs is 'just like that of a cis male' on r/ftm. That seemed like a totally ludicrous suggestion to anyone who understands how anatomy works - women and men's hearts are different in scale, and the arteries and ventricles reflect this. Testosterone thickens the blood, which means the heart has to work much, much harder. FTMs actually have DOUBLE the risk of a heart attack as quote unquote cis men, and quadruple that of women. FTM heart attack risk double that of men
Testosterone causing brain damage after just 4 weeks, and shrinking parts of the brain responsible for language. On a personal side note, having seen what brain cancer does to a person's command of language, this is not too dissimilar. - Study on testosterone causing damage to female brain after only 4 weeks - another study showed similar results in verbal fluency tests - 1995 study on testosterone influence on brain function for verbal fluency.
Further brain issues found in a 2016 Dutch study on FTMs after only 10 months on testosterone - Dutch 2016 brain structure study
Eye pressure and pain (in additional to prev. mentioned gluacoma risk) - Eye pressure r/detrans anecdote
Women have smaller joints than men. The sudden increase of muscle around these joints can cause impingement, thoracic outlet syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. - Carpal tunnel anecdotes aplenty on r/ftm, Carpal tunnel issues dating back to 2003
Vulvadynia (unexplained shooting pain in and around the vulva, trust me... you don't want this), seems to occur more in women who have PCOS and naturally produce more testosterone. Sure enough, others have mentioned it on r/detrans "It has permenently left me with vulvodynia and clitorodynia. My cortisol levels are so high doctor thought I might have brain cancer or adrenal abnormalities ." - Chronic shooting pain in genitals and cortisol issues anecdote
FTMTF describes near death experience from testosterone screwing their blood pressure, then lowering their cortisol so much they went into a coma - r/detrans coma from low cortisol
Enlarged cystic ovaries and psychosis - Amazing article from 2018 about FTM hormone therapy
I do remember reading somewhere that FTMs on hormone therapy had a 12% rate of psychosis or something similar, but cannot find the link. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, please let me know!
Anecdotally, as other users have observed (been a lurker for a while), transmen seem to die or become cripplingly ill a lot younger than average. I've read stories of transmen who have died in their early 60s or late 50s. I will update this if I remember the name, but there was an FTM writer who wrote about transhealth, and died in their 50s, from a heart attack. There is also the tragic case of 'Nathan', who was allowed to die age 44 after a 'three failed sex change operations' - FTM ends life at 44 after failed operations
TRANSGENDER FTM SURGERIES
Nipple necrosis (where the tissue dies and falls off) - Chest surgery risks
Numb chest, nerve hookup delayed, itching - Anecdote on what the period immediately after surgery is like
Anecdotally I have read some cases where the nerves never fully hook up, and there is permanent numbness, tingling or under the skin itching. Again, will update if I find more sources on this.
Abcesses not healing, having 20+ surgeries and still not getting to the required 'place' - 20th surgery due to huge complications
Eight malpractice suits against Dr Curtis Crane, who left women with bleeding or rotting parts of their arms sewn to their pelvis, without the ability to properly urinate and no sexual function whatsoever - 8 malpractice suits that, like 90% of malpractice suits against the medical industry in the USA, never get to trial.. wonder why
WARNING GRAPHIC. ALT phalloplasty, where 40% of it rotted off, left the patient in a wheelchair for 7 months and with no sexual function, no ability to urinate and needing 'leech therapy' to help with blood flow - NSFW GRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHS AND STORY
I am trying to find the link to the story I found where feces started building in an FTMs scrotum as their surgical complication, will add as soon as I can.
Anecdote of FTMs losing the entire neophallus post phalloplasty operation At least one FTM has lost their entire neophallus
Wearing a diaper due to bowel issues post phalloplasty - NSFW post phalloplasty incontinence diaper
Phalloplasty left this patient with an ileostomy - Ileostomy and psychological effects of phalloplasty. This patient posted later that they 'I fucking regret the fuck out of that shit.I thought I could take on the world, I thought I could fight every person’s battle who had horrible complications—I thought that’s what I was doing with this law suit. I was also told that by being truthful, I would ruin the idea of this surgery for many people to come after myself. NO. In order to truly help, I feel as if I need to be truthful, with myself first, and then others. It’s taken me a while to be honest with myself, but it’s made me so, so, so much happier. ' - Facebook post. 33 surgeries in total later, they had the ileostomy removed. -Bag removed
Rectal fistula from phalloplasty -Just a facebook post, not nsfw
I will add more as I come across them. Please post any anecdotes, or links to studies, that you come across. I'm hoping that if even one woman or girl comes across this, it may save her health problems in the future.
Thank you, I hope the links all work fine as it is my first post!