I'll begin by listing changes as outlined by both the medical community and trans females themselves and elaborate when needed. Let me add first, that there are no long term definitive studies on the effects of "T" on the female brain and body, second the guidelines the medical community is currently using with regards to females and "T" dosage is based on the MALE body, NOT the female body.
I'll begin with the more clinical changes that testosterone can effect:
- Testosterone increases red blood cell counts which can raise blood pressure levels due to higher red blood cell counts causing the blood to thicken. This can result in blood clots that can cause stroke or heart attack, hemorrhage, and/or heart failure.
- Testosterone can cause changes in liver functioning resulting in possible Jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and other tissues. Abnormal new tissue growths on the liver which may be benign or cancerous. Hepatic adenoma (HA) a rare benign tumor of the liver and malignant (cancerous) tumors of the liver.
- Testosterone may suppress the clotting factor in the blood, those with bleeding disorders should take extra precautions.
- Testosterone is known to cause water and electrolyte retention resulting in abnormal buildup of fluid in the ankles, feet, and legs.
- Testosterone usage may cause Seborrhea, a skin condition characterized by loose, greasy or dry, white to yellowish scales on the skin which may be temporary or continue long term with testosterone use.
- Testosterone may cause periodic yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
- Testosterone is believed to cause or worsen polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Which has been linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer, as well as ovarian cancer.
- Lowers/changes your voice. (the truth-many trans females will often sound like a little person of either sex) There are a no shortage of Youtubes to back this up.
- Causes excessive body hair, often times greater than the average bio-male.
- Causes head hair loss.
- Your facial image will begin changing within the first 3-6 months. (in truth-within another estimated 6 months you will no longer see yourself in the mirror. Your image will become a stranger to you, your friends and your family-see screen cap below)
- Your female shape (child bearing hips) will not change regardless of how long you remain on "T". (see below)
- The clitoris will become slightly larger, depending on its size to begin with (the truth-your clitoris will not become a penis or become more than a few centimeters longer than it already is. Due to the coursing of the skin from "T" effects the clitoris may lose some sensitivity)
- Testosterone may increase sex drive and alter sexual behavior (more on this later on)
- Testosterone will alter body smell (in truth-your body smell will be strong and pungent, similarly to male body odor) and your vagina will no longer smell or taste the same
- Testosterone will change the smell of your urine (in truth-this too will become very pungent smelling similar to male repugnant urine odors-just walk into a male public toilet to experience it for yourself)
- Testosterone can/will alter your emotions/moods (the truth-directly after a "T" injection you may feel everything from a testosterone high to fits of anger/frustration. If you have a history of violent behavior testosterone may increase that violent behavior, sometimes resulting in partner abuse even rape/murder in rape cases. Others will find they feel calm as "T" dulls previous female abilities to experience deep intense emotions. Trans females will often feel depressed towards the end of their "T" cycle, particularly if they have had a hysterectomy and rely primarily on "T" injections for hormone replacement).
- If you are a lesbian prior to taking "T" after "T" you will become 'invisible' to the women you once desired (see You Tube confessional) because your appearance will no longer be desirable or familiar to them. Because of your new trans female appearance, they may even treat you with the same caution as any bio male in their presence or space.
- You may NEVER in your wildest dreams imagined yourself capable of rape, in fact you may have been raped yourself, but some trans(men) in fact do rape women once they have testosterone coursing through their female systems. Sadly these rapes go more unreported than bio male to female rapes due to the embarrassment of the victim and the complicatedness of explaining having been raped by a trans female. These rapes also go unreported because when they have been reported the victims get further victimized (not believed/slandered/stalked-hounded) by the queer/trans community who put the rapist first simply because they are trans. I will add here trans feamles are not above murdering a woman, these crimes often get buried by the trans community as well, some of which have blamed the murdered woman rather than the trans female murderer.
- You may never have desired having a bio male penis in your mouth, your vagina or anus prior to taking "T", but after "T" the likelihood of desiring/and doing it is extremely high. For decades trans females were and continue to be on the "down-low" soliciting sex with gay men on various internet dating sites i.e., within the 'Bear' community, BDSM/Leather, Craig's List etc. The "outing" of trans females on these lists by gay men has highlighted the fixation those taking "T" have with sex with gay men. Sadly, many see successfully soliciting gay sex as a confirmation of their manhood or success in passing. This along with testosterone increases the risk-taking behaviours (such as unprotected sex with gay men) of those desperate to 'pass'. (in truth-sucking a gay man's cock or having a gay man fuck any trans female orifice doesnt confer maleness, only easiness)
- Along with risky unprotected sex with gay men, comes the problem with HIV and other STD's.
- Testosterone may cause weight gain (the truth-weight gain is redistributed to the belly and backsides similarly to where most males carry weight. Testosterone is not a diet pill, you will not lose weight, you will simply change where you carry that weight. If you already have a weight issue, testosterone will increase your risk of heart disease/heart attack because the redistribution of fat to the belly is nearer the heart).
- Testosterone will increase your muscularity (the truth-if you do not workout you will not be increasing muscle in any meaningful way. Your basic female shape will masculinize, but that doesn't mean muscularize).
- You may think/hope by taking "T" that you will look this:
But in all likelihood you will appear more like the generic trans female such as this:
- Once you take "T" those side effects will be with you for the rest of your life. If you change your mind you cannot change your voice, your clitoris, your hairline back, and removal of excess body and facial hair is a costly and painful process. The soft andro look you may have perfected prior to taking "T" will be replaced by the image of an uncle on your mother's side of the family.
- Testosterone is not a cure all for ANY of your troubles.
I leave you with this quote from an ex-trans female: It is important to listen to any personal doubts, however small, and not get locked into the FTM machine.
See references for more info...
Where all Paths Converge-A Transman's Story
The Feminist Guide to ALL things Trans
Transgender Kids: A New Frontier in Child Abuse