In this article I will talk about the expected changes, perceived changes, or actual changes that I have noticed over the last ten months. I will leave out most of the NSFW stuff. I don't feel comfortable posting the heavier details of that online.
I have them. ALL. THE. TIME. I had read about how HRT would cause a flood of emotions. Most people reported around 6 months in. I waited and nothing changed so I figured I was just a lucky anomaly. I had a change in emotion from the start but for the better. I could cry but it wasn't very frequent as I usually can control my emotions pretty well. Now at 10 months I am having a difficult time with not crying. I am under a lot of stress with my job and I have to fight back tears occasionally in the last week. I am able to experience more emotions, more strongly than before. In the past I would have been stressed for sure. I would have also not cared. I would have just figured it's just another hurdle to get over until I get to the next issue. In the same day I can go from so happy I can tear up to just hearing about something sad and being unable to hold it back and then being so happy I cry again. The range of emotion in the last year as a whole has been fantastically more varied than I have experienced in most of the years of my life. Even if I did experience them before the emotions were not as powerful and would quickly subside.
One emotion I feel much less overall is anger. I do get angry now but I do not feel as aggressive as I have in the past. Before I might have wanted to punch something but now I have no urge to do that.
Boobs! I have them now. It should have been a sign, that for many years I had tried to find ways to grow some boobs, like maybe I just eat some specific fruit. It turns out estrogen is the best way to grow your own. They aren't huge or anything but they are mine. Part of it is that my frame is large and makes them look smaller. I am hoping they grow some more but I can see some shape. There will be a long time before the process is complete. Physical sensation with them is about the same. I don't feel like they are any more or less sensitive than before unfortunately.
Hair. Well this isn't really specific to HRT. I haven't really noticed it being thinner but then I didn't notice that it was thinning before either (it was but I couldn't see it because of my hair style and the location). It is growing but I wish it would hurry up. I have wavy hair that curls up, especially in humidity, which makes it look shorter than it is. I had started this time last year (before even considering I was trans) that I would not cut it at all for a year. That haircut was what I had always had, a buzz cut. A year later and it's just creeping up to the end of my neck when it's laying flat. Actually I did measure that it was exactly 6 inches long so I guess I finally have one thing that I can say I am completely average on.
Face. This one is actually going to continue to change a lot. I can see it's changed because I have pictures from years ago. I also have been taking pictures to use as a timeline and I can see some changes but I can't say how they are different. They don't look the same. I still see me in the mirror. Occasionally I see some differences in my cheeks and eyes (they look a little larger). I know that the changes here will be subtle and over the longest time period so I haven't been too critical on this front.
Shoe Size. I am including this to remark that I have lost a little bit of size in my feet. Not nearly enough because finding shoes is still difficult. My old (mens) shoes still pretty much fit but at least in womens the size has gone down by one or two sizes. I still have to seek wide shoes though but that was pretty true before (but back then I didn't care as much about aesthetics so I wasn't picky in my shoes). I haven't noticed any change in height or anything else.
Weight. I started to work out at about the time I started HRT. I knew that estrogen would make weight loss harder so I figured I better start. I lost about 25 pounds and have since stalled at my current weight for about 5 months. I have lost muscle but not at the rate I would have had I not continued to work out. The changes are over a pretty long time so it's hard to tell where I've built/lost muscle mass and where I've lost/gained fat. My only gauge is when I need to do something strenuous and that isn't frequent. Usually just lifting with my arms, where it's obvious I have lost muscle strength but not seen any size change.
Body Hair. I still have to shave pretty much everywhere. I haven't noticed that it grows slower or thinned out on my arms, legs, or underarms. It seems to grow a bit slower and ever so slightly thinner on my chest/stomach. I didn't have very thick hair there to begin with luckily. I have been getting laser for my face and that has slowed it but there is still a long ways to go until that is done. Even after all the laser I will have to get electrolysis for anything that remains.
Odor. Within the first few months I had already lost most of the body odor I had. I can work out and my sweat doesn't smell like anything. There is a bit of smell once in a while but usually it's just before showering already so it's not been a concern.
Eyesight. I don't know if this was really something that could be an issue but it was something I worried about since I had already needed corrective lenses. Estrogen causes the lens of the eye to flatten. I haven't been able to find specific details on how this works or by how much or if it affects vision. Just that it happens. I had gotten new glasses this year with a new prescription and I haven't noticed that the prescription isn't still valid.
Smell. I had read that the sense of smell increases dramatically. I haven't really noticed that. I don't know if it's just because it was small incremental changes or if I just don't have a strong sense already. There has been one or two times where I could smell something and I mentioned it to someone and they said they didn't smell anything (despite us being the same distance from the source). One thing I have noticed is that onions (at least sautéed) smell so strongly like body odor that it's almost enough to make me gag. I don't recall being that sensitive to that before. Before the smell was there but it wasn't bothersome as I recall.
Taste. I had also read that taste would improve. I thought maybe this was related to change in smell personally. I haven't noticed any noticeable changes in my taste or preference of foods. The closest I have had to a change is I sometimes crave a sweet (like chocolate) but I rarely have one. As part of my new outlook on life I have made it a priority to at least try (or try to try) more foods that I wouldn't have before. This hasn't led to anything really except I learned I found a few more foods I don't like.
Sexual Attraction. I had expected that there might be some changes to what I was attracted to. I was actually worried about it because I had never had an interest in men before. As far as I can tell I still don't have one. I had read that men would smell good and that I might appreciate their physique more. I haven't noticed either of those things. Occasionally I do include a man in a sexual fantasy but it's never about penetration and rarely even sexual. I fantasize about their strength and being cuddled or held as a woman. It's just easier to feel like a woman (in my fantasy) with a man but that is just an entirely different rabbit whole of a topic. I have not noticed any changes in my attraction to women except that occasionally it's hard to separate attraction from jealousy. I notice more details that I didn't really consider before: hips, their makeup, their clothing style, etc. The one observation I have made is that many of the qualities I like in a woman are qualities I dislike about myself. That might not be unusual but it's not even bad things. For example, I like women to be strong (physically and mentally), bold, and forward. Not that I dislike those things in myself all the time but often when I embody them they cause some dysphoria. It could be nothing but it is something I have realized lately. Mostly I have noticed that it's not entirely physical attraction that is attracting me to people or that has been a turn on. Often sex acts are one of the last things I think of now when I am attracted to someone.
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