Author Topic: My journey back to Estrogen  (Read 3405 times)

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Offline Mandy M

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My journey back to Estrogen
« on: April 17, 2022, 03:12:34 am »
Hi everyone,

I hope you will forgive a little self-indulgence but I wanted to chart my progress back into an Estrogen-only regime.

Some of the background to this can be seen on my other thread https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,258850.0.html

I won't bore you all with the details of why I had to stop transitioning for three years (argh) but I am very glad to have taken my first steps back. Just to reassure y'all, I am under highly qualified gender clinicians, including an endocrinologist, with regular blood tests. I'm physically fit. As I mentioned on the other thread, my professionals know what they want me to be on but not how to get there: the mechanics of titration. Just to reiterate too that I produce no hormones at all without exogenous ones: I literally go to zero on both T & E.

So I thought I would share my journey, with any ups or downs and listen to any feedback and comments which would be much appreciated.

I hesitate to compare myself to the James Webb telescope but it feels like a decent metaphor: slow and careful adjustments over a period of time until the optimal point is reached.

Anyway, a week ago I began the titration down off T. I was on a mid-range dosage before and throughout my time taking testosterone my T levels have consistently remained below male range, even when measured only 2 to 4 hours after application. My E readings without estrogen have fluctuated: sometimes I was making significant amounts of estrogen ex nihilo. More recently my E levels have been low too. So I start from a position of low residual T and E.

I am now on what would be considered a very low dose of T. I am also on a micro dose of estrogen. This latter is really for my mental wellbeing more than physicality because the T is probably still obliterating it. At the moment it is sublingual but will switch to gel.

After a week how do I feel? No significant difference that I can detect as yet except for a definite drop in libido. And happiness at returning to my path.

My intention is to stay at these levels for another week. I don't want to rush this: I want to give my body-brain time to adjust. In a week or so I intend stopping the T altogether, fast for 3 days with just the micro dose of E, and then gradually, very carefully, bring up the E to the prescribed level.

It's this changeover period which concerns me the most. I have previously been without any exogenous hormones and I was fine for a week to ten days and then, bam, it hit me: doped out and catatonic. So I'm hoping the E kicks in before I reach that stage again. Six weeks after coming onto my Estrogen only regime I will be having my first new blood tests. Whoop whoop!

xx

Offline pamelatransuk

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2022, 07:00:06 am »
Congratulations, Mandy. I'm delighted to see you have now started your new and and well thought out path which is certainly the correct and appropriate one for you - Estogen.

I hope all goes well and wish you every happiness and success.

Hugs

Pamela xx



Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2022, 07:22:40 am »
Thanks so much Pamela. I love your support.

xx

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2022, 08:24:40 am »
@Mandy M
Dear Mandy:
I am so very excited for you......

I have been following your progress on your other thread:
                 Anyone ever taken both T and E at the same time?
        https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,258850.0.html

Wishing you the best and much success and happiness as you head for your goal.
HUGS,
Danielle
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A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
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Started HRT:   March 2015
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Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2022, 10:24:33 am »
Thanks so much Danielle and for you lovely message over on there too.

This kind of support is so special.

xx

Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2022, 08:21:16 am »
Well I felt totally zapped out yesterday: washed out and zombified. Almost like I was floating outside my body.

I've had this issue before.

I've called a halt to proceedings and have contacted my gender physicians but any thoughts from travellers on here would be much appreciated.

xx

Offline pamelatransuk

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2022, 08:52:55 am »
Hoping this latest setback is resolved urgently. Good luck with your Gender Physicians.

Hugs

Pamela xx

Offline dianne_1234

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2022, 12:08:02 pm »
Well I felt totally zapped out yesterday: washed out and zombified. Almost like I was floating outside my body.

I've not been on E, but when I was diagnosed with low T I felt the way you describe.

I was surprised to read of your plan to taper off T, then taper on E, instead of switching more quickly. Perhaps getting one or the other ASAP will be helpful? I know I was miserable without (well, very low) sex hormone.   

Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2022, 01:06:50 pm »
I've not been on E, but when I was diagnosed with low T I felt the way you describe.

I was surprised to read of your plan to taper off T, then taper on E, instead of switching more quickly. Perhaps getting one or the other ASAP will be helpful? I know I was miserable without (well, very low) sex hormone.   

Thank you so much Dianne and also you Pamela for your best wishes.

Dianne I think you may well be right: thank you, you have encouraged me. I'm going to speak to them about how to do this because I can't go on like I was yesterday. Just awful.

Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2022, 02:52:41 am »
I think this is why I posted the other thread* about T&E together because I'm not sure if there's any record of someone going from exogenous testosterone to exogenous estrogen?

I feel depressed today. I really want to make my journey back to estrogen but I don't know how to do it. I'm not sure waiting another 2 months for a reply from the GiC is going to help because a) that's a very bleak 2 months and b) they don't know about the mechanics of how to do it either.

Are there for example ways to boost energy? Melatonin? L-theanine? DT56a such as in soy or Femarelle supplements? I don't drink tea at all which seems to be the only source of it. But I would drink Green tea. Caffeine? The day I felt totally totally zapped I had (unusually for me) only had 1 cup of coffee: normally I will have 3 cups all before midday.

I think the thing is: I know that without a sex hormone I now produce nada T or E, literally zero, so I'm dealing with a very tricky situation of how to get my exogenous switch to bring my energy levels up.

This is so so so hard. Please anyone, thoughts?

xx

* Here: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,258850.0.html

Offline dianne_1234

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2022, 05:51:36 am »
Mandy I feel for you. I don't know how one might do it in the UK, but can you somehow get one or the other, either E or T, right away, so you're not running on empty? Yes, I'm not a doctor, but personally I don't see any reason to delay or taper. Based on my very low T and no E experience, I feel like the body needs some kind of sex hormone, even day to day. Perhaps while waiting for the GiC, your regular doc could get you some E? Or more likely T, but better than nothing?

Offline Rakel

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2022, 05:55:39 am »
...This is so so so hard. Please anyone, thoughts? ...

Hormones are not the only thing that can give you a feeling of energy and well being. There are nutritional concerns as well. Blood glucose is the most important, but there are many, many other things to consider. There are just too many things to mention in a single paragraph.

I suggest a good evaluation by an Endocrinologist who is well trained in nutrition and wellness. Also, emotional issues can be a factor. Being tired all the time is a major symptom of depression. Many people suffer from a little of both causes. The only way to find out what is causing your issues is by being evaluated properly by medical professionals.

You need to act on this soon, otherwise this will just get worse. Take care.  :-*




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Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2022, 08:48:26 am »
Well you are of course right Rakel.

I have regular blood tests, everything tested under the sun, and they're all normal except my T and E levels. Left to myself both go to zero. If I take exogenous testosterone I still have a low T level. Conversely if I manage to navigate this stormy channel back onto E, my estradiol E2 will be zooming up. I know this because it has happened before. My body has a greater propensity to 'remember' E and to be more receptive to it. When I was on Tostran as opposed to Testogel my body-brain decided to start making large quantities of estrogen, which was great!

As a physical specimen I eat incredibly healthily: high fibre, low fat, good protein. I don't drink any alcohol at all and I exercise with good vigour every day. My blood pressure is low (c. 110/65) and my resting pulse is low (c. 52). These latter may relate to 'athlete's heart' and it's true that I am having some tests for this but I don't think they are expecting to find anything exceptional: just a low ticking heart from years of physical exercise.

I've been seen by endless medical people and no one, none of them, can address the key question here of how to get from T to E. Why? Because I don't know if it has been done before. Has anyone transited from exogenous testosterone to exogenous estrogen?

Dianne I do have a supply of testosterone and this morning I took a low dose. I also have estradiol valerate in the house although my prescription is for estrogen gel (Sandrena gel).

I'm just not sure how to do this switch and, if I do it quickly, how my brain-body is going to react.

Maybe one of the issues last week was that I was taking the E within a couple of hours of the T. It's possible the T just obliterated it. Maybe I should re-introduce the E in the afternoon whilst T levels are tapering off. I don't know.


Offline pamelatransuk

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2022, 08:53:48 am »
Hello again Mandy

My advice is to see your NHSGP and explain the dilemma and the urgency. Suggest E but if refused as NHSGP obliged to rely solely on GIC, suggest several BTs including Full Blood Count urgently AND temporary nutritional products immediately.

My thoughts are with you. Truly wish for quick resolution.

Hugs

Pamela

Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2022, 09:57:40 am »
Hello again Mandy

My advice is to see your NHSGP and explain the dilemma and the urgency. Suggest E but if refused as NHSGP obliged to rely solely on GIC, suggest several BTs including Full Blood Count urgently AND temporary nutritional products immediately.

My thoughts are with you. Truly wish for quick resolution.

Hugs

Pamela

That's sweet of you Pamela but I may have given the wrong impression. I have been seen and I have the prescription for estrogen. My blood tests have all come back completely fine except my T & E levels.

It's not about that. It's about how I do it safely and without zapping out,and on this on no one has any idea about how to make the switch. It doesn't matter how many times I'm told 'go and see x or y expert' none of them have experience of how to switch someone from exogenous testosterone to exogenous estrogen. I don't think it has been done before. They are in the dark as much as anyone else on here, perhaps more so.

The problem I 'think' is getting from one to the other without leaving me in some godawful trough and this is where the experience of post-menopausal women as well as those on here who, for example, have to come off estrogen for surgery may be invaluable. In fact, any examples of when those transitioning have experienced energy drops, and how to deal with them, may be relevant.

Let's imagine two sliders on a sound mixing desk, one E and the other T that are both marked on a scale from 0-10. At the moment the E is on 0. The T is on 5. The goal is to get the E slider up 10 and the T down to 0. But how?

Up until two days ago I was thinking gradually slide down the T. Then wait a few days and gradually slide up the E. But judging by my experience, the result of that is that the music stops playing altogether.

My question is how to achieve the right balance whilst not losing the music in the meantime? That's my conundrum.

Your point about nutritional supplements may be really pertinent whilst I make the switch. Should I for example take up chocolate for energy whilst this process is going on? Seriously!

xx

Offline Devlyn

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2022, 10:18:51 am »
I'm confused what you're even asking, to be honest. All this talk of titration up and down seems like perhaps you're overthinking this. I've been off estrogen twice, once by choice, and once for surgery. In both instances it was an instant cold turkey stop, and an instant return to my full previous dose.

While we should always be under a doctor's supervision, HRT isn't rocket science.

Hugs, Devlyn
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Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2022, 10:19:40 am »
p.s. just want to add too that the reason I was depressed yesterday was the dysphoria. I want to be back on my journey to my female self.

Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2022, 10:21:20 am »
I'm confused what you're even asking, to be honest. All this talk of titration up and down seems like perhaps you're overthinking this. I've been off estrogen twice, once by choice, and once for surgery. In both instances it was an instant cold turkey stop, and an instant return to my full previous dose.

While we should always be under a doctor's supervision, HRT isn't rocket science.

Hugs, Devlyn

Thanks Devlyn, much appreciated and I sense you may well be right.

Can I ask how long you were off for on both occasions?

There's a slight difference in that you were presumably attuned to the E before and after whereas my brain may by now be attuned to T but ... I think you could be right about this.

xx

Offline Devlyn

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2022, 10:50:06 am »
Three weeks the first time, two for the surgery.
Veteran, US Army

Offline Mandy M

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Re: My journey back to Estrogen
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2022, 12:54:50 pm »
Three weeks the first time, two for the surgery.

And during those three and two weeks did you at anytime feel lacking energy, zapped out, spacey, zombified?

I'm sorry you were confused by what I was asking. The answer is the mechanics of how to do this.

I think what's different to what you describe is that I'm not coming off E, pausing, and then going back off E. I'm coming off 3 years of exogenous testosterone in order to resume estrogen.

xx

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