Day 65 Post Op: Small victories on the road to recovery

In the ongoing interests of using positivity as a weapon against this recovery, I’m trying to surface things that feel better and listen to those thoughts rather than the darker ones. So a few small little milestones this week:

  • My first day without any painkillers since the operation.
    I kicked the Tramadol usage at the weekend. After 24 hours I realised how much I’d been living in a stoned haze; My mind seems sharper; More like my non-recovery self.
  • I sat upright on the sofa and worked in that position for hours yesterday. The back pain of being slumped around had become more significant than the discomfort down below, so being able to sit up is a big deal. It’s not great, but way better than it was.
  • I’ve just spent a morning troubled by indigestion, which on the face of it is not much fun, but I’ve become aware that there are other feelings in my body beyond the dull ache and occasional electric shock feelings of nerves reconnecting in my new vagina.
  • I’m able to stand a little more upright. This sounds like a minor thing, but being so hunched feels really so unfeminine and is pretty uncomfortable. I can’t really engage my core muscles for best posture yet as it seems to simultaneously pull my skin and external scars down there a little more than I am comfortable with, but I see it being on the horizon.

It feels like I turned a corner.

Six effects I experienced when cycling progesterone

I’m having transgender periods. Now that I’ve got that Daily Mail sub-headline out of the way – I’ve been cycling progesterone for two months now as a part of my hormone regime. I’m just in my third cycle and wanted to share my experiences:

Disclaimer: I am not advising you to take any medicine that your doctor has not prescribed. Hormones, when used incorrectly can kill you. It's that simple. I am merely sharing my experiences mostly for my own posterity and a little for the few interested people that read this blog.

Why use it?

This post isn’t supposed to be an in depth analysis of the risks and pros and cons (I may write that another time), but I’ll share a few of my reasons for incorporating it.

Progesterone is the female sex hormone responsible for readying the body to carry a baby. It is present throughout pregnancy but is also a significant part of the menstrual cycle. There is evidence that final development of the breast tissue that makes them potentially functional is caused by progesterone.

Progesterone is a controversial component of HRT because there is a lot of medical dogma based on old medical studies done on the use of a synthetic progestin called hydroxprogesterone on cis women. This cousin of progesterone has horrible side effects and risks (including increased risk of breast cancer).

There has been no study conducted on the effects of natural progesterone on the development of transgender women, so there is just a lot of opinions whirling around.

However there is a growing community of trans women that advocate the use of natural bio-identical progesterone because, unlike it’s artificial cousin, it can actually decrease the risks associated with long term HRT (such as breast cancer). There is anecdotal evidence of it helping to help with breast development and general curviness (bum – I’m looking at you here). Finally it is a part of the female endocrine system, it is meant to work in concert with estrogen and arguably the effects that it causes are a part of the female experience.

What am I taking?

I am taking Prometrium in capsule form, which is micronised natural progesterone. I’ll not share the exact dosage as I haven’t yet resolved my position on advising people on medication and the ethical pros and cons.

There are two approaches some people take it continually and others cycle it. There are pros and cons to either approach. I cycle it because I think this reflects the natural female cycle most closely and I think much of the feminising effects that people speak if is actually related to cycling it.

I do three days at a lower dose, four days at a higher dose, another three days on the low dose again, then take 18 days off it to complete a 28 day cycle.

I may, in the future, switch to injectable progesterone as that is obviously more effective in that it doesn’t have to pass through the digestive system and doesn’t strain the liver in the same way.

So what results have I experienced?

Continue reading “Six effects I experienced when cycling progesterone”

Interim section on my Facial Feminisation surgery

I plan on doing a full writeup of the consultation, the decision to choose my surgeons, the recovery, the emotional side and of course the results. But for now here’s an interim writeup outlining what I had done and the results.