On the road to transitioning into a man, Rowan opens up on his experience on stopping his periods. From decision making to the positive side effects…
Bon Sang : Could you tell us what exactly is the procedure to stop your periods ?
Well my period stopped a month after I began hormones. When you start taking Testosterone for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), one of the side effects is the cessation of the period which of course is what I want so that my gender identity can be affirmed and validated. Now if I were to stop hormones for whatever reason. Then my period would come back like before.
Bon Sang : Are they any side effects that come with stopping ?
Rowan : Other side effects from testosterone are: increase in body hair, voice deepening, increase in sex drive and since my period stopped i have to focus on my testosterone not being too low or too high cause if not then I could become estrogenic meaning the excess testosterone turns into estrogen reversing my results. Sometimes I’ll experience cramps in my hips but that’s because it signifies my uterus will no longer be used but also it could mean my testosterone is too high so I have to be careful with that. Another one is vaginal dryness so you may have to invest in some lubricant for yourself to make sure that your bottom half is taken care of.
Bon Sang : Have you found any positive or negatives during this procedure ?
Rowan : Positives would be no more period as the obvious but also, it signifies to me that im on my way to being the man I’ve known i’ve always wanted to be. Negatives, I would say that its kind of scary to have to worry about my levels because if its too high then my progress can be reversed and my period can come back but if its too low then no changes are happening which would be my biggest fear. Overall, starting hormones should not be taken lightly cause once you start then you should be 100% SURE cause nothing will ever go back to normal if you stop. I’ve also noticed I’ve had to spend money on some extra hygiene products as a man like a stronger deodorant or a cologne which by the way i had no idea how expensive cologne can be *laughs*
Bon Sang : Can you tell us more about your experience and how it felt ?
Rowan : My overall experience has been a crazy one but also a fulfilling one. It took a lot of self-discovery and patience for myself because I had to learn to love and accept myself for who I truly am and not worry about what others think, but im glad I’ve transitioned even if I’ve had a couple of bumps in the road to transitioning.
Bon Sang : Did you feel any doubts before doing it ? Was it scary ? Did you discuss it with your family beforehand or you took it upon yourself ?
Rowan : I didn’t really have doubts. The only thing that scared me was my family’s reaction or what they would say cause they’re conservative for the most part and when they found out there was a lot of mixed opinions. But I made the decision on my own, I didn’t really ask anyone if I should do it i just went ahead and did it cause I’m the only one who knows whats best for me at the end of the day and my only fear is to live my life in a lie.
Bon Sang : How was the response welcomed from your family and friends ? Did you get looks given because of your decision ?
Rowan : My friends were all happy for me and had positive things to say when I stopped having my period because they knew how traumatic having a period was for me. My family was a bit different. My mom was confused as to whether or not it was a good thing cause she was still understanding my gender identity and the starting of my transition. Everyone else in my family was kind of oblivious, they acted as if they didn’t notice any changes because they havent been supportive of my transition or me coming out as a man.
Bon Sang : Lastly, what would be your advice to young transgender men who want to stop their periods
Rowan : My advice to trans men who have yet to transition, is that it is different for everyone. I know we all want to know how its gonna go and may even look at YouTube videos of other transgender men but what may take someone 2 months to see a change may take someone else a whole year. So patience is key. And yes a period can make someone very dysphoric and uncomfortable you always have to remind yourself that one day it won’t be there anymore. It’s also important to note that it’s okay to not want to rush your transition because a lot of stuff goes into it and you should transition at the pace that you’re comfortable with and not worry about what others think.