Everything to know to make an empowered decision with testosterone HRT.
FOLX uses an informed consent model to provide our members with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). We know that folx starting HRT have been thinking about this decision for a while. Many have done their own research and discussed this with other folx on HRT.
Our responsibility is to provide as much clear information on the benefits, risks, alternatives, and explanations as possible before someone makes a decision. With an informed consent model, there is no requirement that a mental health provider assess whether or not a patient is a candidate for hormone therapy.
When signing up for a FOLX testosterone HRT membership, we need our members to understand and acknowledge the information below to get started. But don’t worry: no one needs to make these decisions on their own if they don’t want to. Your membership includes the option to talk with a FOLX clinician about the information below, and more.
Testosterone is a controlled substance because it was being trafficked for body enhancement (mainly sports). Therefore, FOLX has to follow certain requirements, such as scheduling a video visit with every new member. We hope that you take advantage of this appointment to discuss anything important to you!
When starting testosterone with FOLX, members agree that they understand the following:
If any of the following changes occur for you, they usually go away or lessen if you stop taking testosterone:
The biggest concerns associated with testosterone are increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. Testosterone might also:
There isn't a lot of research on the risks of testosterone for HRT so there may be other consequences that we don't know about yet.
The following are side effects that may happen when you start taking testosterone:
This depends on your starting dose. If you start with a low or average dose, it can take about three months to notice a change. Each change takes varied amounts of time to start and to reach maximum effect. Some changes take years to reach maximum effect. This is dependent on many factors--your dosage, the age you started hormones, your genetics. For instance, if you start hormones later in life, you may not see the same kind of changes as a younger person, since sex hormones affect tissues of older folx in more subtle ways.
This is your decision. To keep the non-permanent changes to your body, you will need testosterone for life. For folx who get their ovaries removed or for older folx whose bodies need less testosterone, you may use a lower dose.
We know that testosterone most likely decreases fertility, but it won’t make it go away completely. Pregnancy is possible while you are on testosterone, even if you haven’t had regular bleeding (period). We recommend birth control for you and/or your partner, if you are having the type of sex that could lead to pregnancy and you do not want to become pregnant.
If it is important for you to use your own eggs to make a pregnancy, it’s best to store them before starting testosterone or as early as possible. If you would like to become pregnant, please talk to your clinician. It may be hard to become pregnant, even if you stop testosterone. If you take testosterone while you are pregnant, it can have dangerous effects on the health of the pregnancy.
With the different routes and dosages of testosterone, there are a lot of ways to find the one that fits best for each individual body. For those ready to get started with FOLX for testosterone, the process begins here. And for those who’ve got some more questions about our informed consent approach or getting started, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.