The Trannex

Health Guides

For people who would like to understand the kinds of pre-treatment tests, dosing regimens etc used when taking transmasculine hormones.

Hudson's Guide

Practical Guidelines for Transgender Hormone Treatment (Boston University School of Medicine)

Overview of masculinizing hormone therapy (University of California)

Endocrine Management of Gender Dysphoria in Adults (Welsh Health Service)

Hormone management in Trans men from Trends in Urology


If you are thinking of managing your own healthcare, there are community-written resources on dosages and methods (for all genders) here.

You can also write to the Trans Healthcare Network: transmutualaid@protonmail.com . They are mostly active in Ireland and the Netherlands, but have general expertise.

Is self-medicating safe?

Yes and no.

Buying T online carries greater risk than accessing it through a "legal" route and this includes being targeted by law enforcement; not being able to rely that the medication you're accessing is of good quality; and having less ability to monitor your bloods (which is very important for T; badly done T can be legitimately dangerous). In this sense, it is identical to the harm done when any drug use is criminalised and stigmatised.

But there's a harm reduction angle here where, anti-drug campaigns can overstate the level of risk and requiring trans people to live without life-saving medication can also be a serious source of harm. It can also be cheaper to go black market than going private, and the only option in countries without a legal pathway.

In some countries, self-medicating might make "official" gender care sources unwilling to work with you in future (the Nethelands, apparently). In others, self-medicating can reportedly encourage real doctors to start you on hormones as a harm reduction measure (supposedly, the UK)

One study done in the Netherlands found that 50-60% of steroids bought on the black market are dodgy: too much or too little of real medicine in the substance, bulked out with random shit, actively dangerous, or containing nothing of value at all. There isn't a way for everyday users to test their drugs to assess whether they are of good quality or not.

Blood Tests

You should ideally get your baseline bloods taken before you begin; once you begin on HRT, it is impossible to recover this baseline data so do it if you can.

The test should measure: Full blood count (FBC), liver function test (LFT), HbA1c*, fasting lipids, prolactin, luteinising hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH),testosterone, estradiol,sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and vitamin D. Renal function if indicated.

Body Transformation Test - a mail-order test which covers all the bloods taken by the Welsh Health Board

Getting regular blood tests is essential to safe T use, and that's even more true if you are accessing your medication from a questionable source.

T Administration methods

There are two ways of administering injectable T; and there is also gel, which you put on the skin, but is more expensive and trickier to find.

If you have the option, which should you choose? Studies demonstrate that both methods are viable, but people tend to prefer SQ. The Trans Healthcare Network seem to think that SQ is easier to do than IM and, consequently, a better option for people administering their own healthcare. IM tends to be preferred for if you are injecting a large amount because it can hold more. But for, say, a weekly 50mg injection either will work.

I've been told by several sources that the little bottles of T which say "for intramuscular injection only" can, in fact, be used for SQ as well but I do not feel confident enough to assert that in my own voice.


VIDEO: Intramuscular Injection

LEAFLET: How do I administer Sustanon - from Gender GP; intermuscular.


VIDEO: Introduction & Subcutanous Injection Training

LEAFLET How to Give Yourself a SQ Injection - Planned Parenthood

Illustrated guide to injection sites

Hormones: Let's go shopping!

Equipment used in the SC Polyclinic video:

1ML Luer Lock Syringe One per injection
Drawing up Needle - Sharp
Luer Lock | 18G gauge | 1 1/2" long
One per injection
Injection Needle
Differs based on method!
One per injection
Alcohol swabs Six per injection
Small Plasters Optional/one per injection
Sharps Container Lasts forever

PLUS an Injection Needle. Make sure it fits your selected syringe:

Method Gauge (thickness) Length
SQ 25G -30G 1/2" - 5/8"
IM 23-25G 1" - 1 1/2"

The bigger the gauge number = the smaller the needle. Reportedly, this chart is for these methods period rather than these methods for T specifically. Bigger needles, the medication will move faster (and T is an oil, so it is quite slow) - but may hurt more. In a pinch, any needle will do: these are just the ideal ranges.


The Polyclinic video recommends the Luer Lock system of syringes because it ensures the needle "locks" firmly onto the syringe.

Look out for needles advertised as "low dead space": these enable you to get more doses out of multi-dose bottles, and may reduce the risk of bloodborne disease (HIV, Hepatitus etc) if you are sharing needles with others (which - to clarify - you should definitely never do, if you can possibly help it).

I think Exchange Supplies is cool - a social enterprise that's been running since the ~2000s with a mission of harm reduction for people who use injectable drugs (including those who do so illegally), and ships worldwide. You may be able to find a needle exchange, a trans mutual aid group, an lgbt or sexual health clinic that might help you access equipment for free if you are in need. Needle exchanges in the UK

Lifestyle

Weightlifting

The FTM's Complete Guide to Looking Like a Hot Dude - specifically recommended for the section on weight training! But the clothing guide is also very good.

Vocal Training

Transmasc Voice Guide - vocal training is one of these things often associated with trans women & only funded for trans women on the basis that T drops your voice anyway. But you might not want to be on T/or, it might not do the trick. Plus a Discord Community; and there's a reddit for voice with a transmasc tag; and look on youtube for videos

Singing

A common worry! Here's a study on the Singing Voice In The First 2 Years Of T by Tessa Romano, a singing tutor; and there's a lot of resources here.

Hair Growth

I Will Teach You To Be Hairy - community-made guide to growing hair while not on T. Author intends to update soon, as putting hairdye on newly grown hair can cause them to burn and you shouldn't.

What about hair loss? There's community rumblings about minoxidil, and topical finasteride (the latter can counteract your progress from T so...it's a fine art). Basically, people are experimenting with these but there's yet to be a community consensus.

Dick vanity

Why yes, there are absolutely people researching how to get more length without surgery. You can visit r/growyourTdick, or the sister sub r/GrowYourClit for ideas.