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At What Age Can I Start Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy?

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Gender identity is a personal experience that varies from person to person. One might identify as a woman, man, both, or neither. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to the sex assigned at birth and can be changed later in life.

It's not always easy for others to understand the complexity of gender identity and gender dysphoria. In this blog post, Boston Direct Health breaks down why someone might start hormone therapy, what age is appropriate for treatment, and how our professionals can guide you through the process.

Board-certified family physician Dr. Steven Zivich is proud to offer gender-affirming hormone therapy to LGBTQ+ individuals in Boston. While hormone therapy generally begins at age 16, your readiness depends on several factors. Our goal is to assist you during every aspect of your transition, so we’ll work with you to find the right timeframe. Call our team to schedule your hormone assessment today.

About gender-affirming hormone therapy

There are many reasons someone might seek gender-affirming hormone therapy. Some, but not all, transgender people do so because they want their bodies to better align with their gender identity.

Hormones are naturally occurring chemicals that control how the body looks and works. Hormone therapy allows individuals to develop certain features in terms of bone structure, voice tone and pitch, body hair, and fat distribution. For example, hormone therapy can help transgender women grow fuller breast tissue and reduce facial hair growth. On the other hand, transgender men might develop a deeper voice and more masculine features. As a result, those with gender dysphoria can finally live as their true selves.

At what age can you begin hormone therapy?

If someone is still a minor when they decide to begin hormone therapy, it's often helpful to first transition socially. This begins with coming out to family and friends as LGBTQ+. After you've gained support from those closest to you, taking the step toward medically transitioning isn’t as overwhelming. Dr. Zivich can discuss the different hormone therapy options during your assessment in Boston, including testosterone or estrogen that could be delivered via injection, pill, patch, or gel.

The Endocrine Society guidelines state that gender-affirming hormone therapy may begin at age 16. However, your readiness depends on several factors, including your personal health and how well you understand the process. Whether someone begins hormone therapy at 16 or 65, they should continue to receive regular medical checkups to monitor their health. The professionals at Boston Direct Health are happy to provide these services.

What are the benefits of hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy can be life-saving for patients suffering from gender dysphoria. No matter your end goals for treatment, Boston Direct Health can help you meet them. Some of the main benefits of hormones include:

  • Improved mental health

  • Increased physical comfort and well-being

  • A more satisfying social life and relationships

Live as your true self

Like any medical treatment, gender-affirming hormones are not right for everyone. We know this can be a difficult decision to make, and Boston Direct Health is here to give you the information you need to feel confident moving forward. Dr. Steven Zivich and our team of experts in Boston, MA, have experience working with the LGBTQ+ community and can walk with you every step of the way. If you're looking for guidance in starting hormone therapy, please reach out to our office for an appointment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.