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TransMen’s Health: Tip #1

In Response to an Update Post by Buck Angel on Facebook

If you have a provider that is knowledgeable about transmen’s health, you may have heard that testosterone affects the cervix and vaginal walls. With elevated levels of testosterone, the cells lining the cervix and vagina become atypical making it harder for providers to screen for cancer. Without estrogen, the cervix and uterus can atrophy and close causing painful complications. When bacteria becomes trapped inside the uterus, infections can rapidly become serious. For transmen on testosterone who have not had surgery, this can mean hysterectomy to prevent or remove infection; for those who have had surgery, this can mean a loss in elasticity and ability to penetrate their vaginal openings. Some guys may develop complications earlier than others, so it’s never too early to think long-term body health!

Estrogen keeps the tissue inside the vagina elastic and helps prevent atrophy of the cells.  Estrogen is especially important for guys that have had oopharectomies and hysterectomies (because removing the ovaries means they have lost most of their ability to produce estrogen intrinsically); however, even if you haven’t had a hysterectomy or oopharectomy, although your ovaries still produce estrogen, it may not be enough to prevent major complications. In both instances, increasing estrogen is an important step for keeping our bodies happy and healthy! Guys on testosterone therapies can benefit from creams, vaginal suppositories, and/or dietary foods that increase estrogen-production (for more information on dietary foods, see the book “Natural Transitioning: an FTM Alternative” by Tristan and Sicily Skye). Remember: ALL MEN have estrogen in their bodies. Local estrogen therapy or supplementing the diet with estrogen-producing foods will NOT prevent masculinization!

Remember: Estrogen keeps the vagina healthy and happy – regardless of whether you are using it for sexual activity, it is important to get screened annually. If you have it, check it!