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Transgender HealthBrought to you by Virginia’s own Transgender Task Force
T Without Pain: A Review of Topical Testosterone Gel
By Julian Carr, J.D.
Six months ago I began testosterone treatment for the first time, and I have been using topical testosterone gel (Androgel 1%, at 5 grams per day) rather than intramuscular injections. I apply the gel in the morning to my upper arms and shoulders and allow it to dry, which only takes a few minutes, before dressing for the day.
My voice began deepening after about a month of treatment, and some very light facial hair began developing within that same time frame. Neither my voice nor facial hair has changed very much since these initial developments, however. After about two months of treatment, my menstruation stopped completely. Within the last month or so, I have started seeing larger muscles in my biceps and triceps regions, as well as increased hair growth on my stomach and upper legs.
I am not often read as male at this point (i.e., I don't "pass"). This is not a large issue for me, personally, but it very well might be for some individuals.
Unfortunately, I can't provide a direct comparison with intramuscular injections, as I've never undergone injection testosterone treatment. That said, to provide a balanced picture, I can mention some of the downsides to the gel treatment I've experienced. At my six month appointment, my doctor walked in and regarded me with a look I can only describe as "dismayed." She explained that I was far behind in terms of physical developments compared to where her other testosterone-taking patients usually are at the six month mark, and she has doubled my Androgel prescription in response.
Lastly, the gel can be washed off or transferred to others through skin contact for a period of several hours after initial application. Not only does this mean the user might not be receiving the full dose of testosterone but also that those coming into contact with the gel might be getting some very unwanted testosterone. (My partner is trans female and on estrogen hormone therapy, and ze very much does not want any of my testosterone!) This means that showers, swimming, massages, romantic encounters, etc., must be planned with the time of gel treatment in mind.
Jamiegottagun commented on "Thailand's Distorted View Of Transgender People": Thai's probably aren't as accepting as they've been made out to be: check.
Few things in this world are as they have been made out to be.
However, you endanger your own credibility when you make such sweeping statements as you did in your introduction of this story, but provide only the opinion of one movie director, quoted in one story.
And to trash an entire philosophy, Buddhism, based on the actions of a few, is hardly fair, or can be taken as serious news reporting.
If you want to run, what tries to appear to be a transgender news service, then to be taken seriously, you might want to start learning about acceptable practices and ethics in journalism.