Author Topic: Experiences of people who had to stop HRT for an extended period and restart?  (Read 442 times)

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Offline wanderingbutterfly

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Hi there! This is my first post in a long time. I am a 36 year old MTF transwoman who began HRT at the beginning of 2016.

I am looking for experiences of people who were forced to stop their HRT meds for an extended period (months - long enough to see changes) and restart again.

After about 4.5 years of HRT, I had to stop my HRT for several months due to unrelated medical treatment. I had to go about 3 months with nothing at all, and then 4 more with estrogen but no spironolactone. At the end, my blood test showed my testosterone was at 18 and I had experienced various backsliding changes. They were:

- Some regrowth of facial hair, for the first time in years
- The hair on my head is greasy/smelly/itchy
- Change of pubic hair pattern - a fresh layer of new hairs growing down the inside of my upper thighs.
- Some breast reduction

Thankfully, I'm now back on my meds. But the terrifying million dollar question is will these changes be permanent?

Can someone who has taken HRT for years, then stopped long enough to get changes, revert those changes back? Can HRT changes swing back and forth like a pendulum? Does it actually work like that? I'm 36 - am I too old? I'm really worried about the possibility that now my body has reverted somewhat, it may be difficult or impossible to get back where I was.

I've chatted around with friends and got various opinions on this, but nobody honestly has any answers. What I'm hoping to find with this post are people who have actually done this - who have been forced to stop HRT for a fair while and restart. If this happened to you, I'd love to hear your experiences. I'm really quite scared.

Offline Rakel

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Good morning wanderingbutterfly,

I see that this is your first post here on Susan's Place and I would like to take a few moments to officially welcome you to our little corner of the internet.  We are a supportive website for everyone with any kind of gender related issue. We do have Terms of Service and I will post links to the Terms of Service and other important information below. We are moderated within the Terms of Service because we have many members here who are underage and we must keep Susan's Place Family Friendly for those members.

Things that you should read


And now back to your question.

Everyone's experience with HRT is different. However, some generalities can be said.

With restarting Estradiol after being off for only a few months, you can expect to return to your previous condition when you first started taking Estradiol. Your breasts will return to your previous size. Many women who have fluctuating hormone levels also have variable breast size.

Being 36 years old is definitely not too old.  We have many women here who started their transition in their 60's or even later.


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I still keep my professional licence active and in good standing.

Offline wanderingbutterfly

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Thank you for your response! I've actually used Susan's Place before over the years, but I couldn't remember my old username so I made a new one.

I've heard this, but in my case I've been worried because 7 months is a long time (3 with no meds, 4 with just estrogen). It's pretty long, longer than most people have had to go off their meds - at least from stories I can find online. Is it possible to get the changes back even after so long? I'm hoping to find if there is anyone here who has done this.

36 is not too old to transition of course, I'm just worried that it is too old for my body to 'switch back and forth' - i.e. the situation I'm in.

Breast size I expect to grow back, since it always fluctuated anyway. The hair regrowth is probably my number 1 concern. And in general I'm just afraid of my bodily systems not getting back to how they were.

Online Northern Star Girl

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Dear wanderingbutterfly:
Thank you for coming back to Susan's Place and the Forums after being away for a time.
Since you now have a new username here on the site, I think it would be a good thing for if you would
feel so inclined to stop by the Introductions Forum to very briefly tell more members about yourself and your arrival back here on the Forums.
With more exposure to more members here you will be able to get more responses to your questions and concerns.

Wishing your well as you continue to be involved in the forums.

NOTE: Now, after all of this Greeting and Welcoming stuff, I will give you and your readers your thread back so you can get some more answers from other members.

Again, Welcome to Susan's Place.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 10:59:02 am by Northern Star Girl »
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Offline Chloe

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I'm really quite scared.

"Hakuna matata" Butterfly I 1st started medical in my late teens/early 20s and, taking a much longer break than you, didn't restart again until 2006. A career, a wife, house, two kids plus 4 "grands" intervened and am now 65 . . but still feel 'bout 16 going looking at 40?

        Did you have electrolysis prior to "regrowth of facial hair"? As far as body hair goes restarting "E" should take care of that as I have now had NONE for years and, as a recent "experiment", found I also no longer get that "itchy stubble" when shaving what's left "downstairs" :o (so-called "beard" seems much softer as well?)

Welcome Back!
(ps: I also completely stopped "anti-A"s a long time ago)
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"Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!"

Offline Rachel

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I had FFS then 2 months later GCS. For FFS I had to be off meds 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after. For GCS It was 2 weeks before and I think 2 or 3 weeks after. So I was off meds for two periods of about a month in a relatively short time.

I felt dull and thought about it a lot when off the meds. I think I started to regain some function in my  penis from being off meds for FFS. With GCS there was no regain of function post op.

I think the changes will revert back in a few months. You may want to check with your doctor and get some labs done to make sure your are at optimum transition levels.

I am post op 4 years and I started to take a dab of T, when I can remember. It is a small amount and I did notice my sex drive increased. I have not shaved my legs in a while and I see really thin micro hairs. I guess it is time to shave my legs.  I am starting back up electrolysis next month for upper and lower lip, neck and such. I had a lot of electrolysis in the past. I have not noticed any increase in facial hair. Again, it is a small amount of T and I forget to take it a lot.

MTF in need of help link,133631.1980.html
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HRT  5-28-2013
FT   11-13-2015
FFS   9-16-2016 -Spiegel
GCS 11-15-2016 - McGinn
Hair Grafts 3-20-2017 - Cooley
Voice therapy start 3-2017 - Reene Blaker
Labiaplasty 5-15-2017 - McGinn
BA 7-12-2017 - McGinn
Hair grafts 9-25-2017 Dr.Cooley
Sataloff Cricothyroid subluxation and trachea shave12-11-2017
Dr. McGinn labiaplasty, hood repair, scar removal, graph repair and bottom of  vagina finished. urethra repositioned. 4-4-2018
Dr. Sataloff Glottoplasty 5-14-2018
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Dr. McGinn vaginal revision 2 4-3-2019 Bottom of vagina closed off, fat injected into the labia and urethra repositioned.
Dr. Thomas FemLar 10/13/2020
Dr. Thomas laser vocal procedure 2/17/2021