Q:

What happens if a male takes female hormones?

A:

Quick Answer

If a male takes female hormones, body fat redistributes to the legs and buttocks from the stomach, breasts develop, body hair decreases and skin softens, according to TransGenderCare. In addition to these changes, the testes and penis shrink in size, and considerable muscle mass is lost from the upper body.

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When a male takes female hormones, the redistribution of fat can take around two years to occur, while the loss of muscle mass takes about three, explains TransGenderCare. Breasts fully develop in two years, but rarely do transgender individuals achieve breasts larger than a B cup. Body hair is most noticeably lost from the stomach and extremities, but hair remains around the nipples, pubic region and armpits. Sperm production decreases with the shrinking of the testes, and the ability to achieve an erection and ejaculate also reduces.

The prostate gland reduces in size, the risks of arteriosclerotic disease and related cardiovascular conditions are reduced, and sexual responsiveness is lost, according to TransGenderCare. With long-term supplementation with female hormones, males can become permanently infertile. Beard growth never completely ceases, requiring the individual to explore hair removal options other than hormone therapy. In addition, transgender individuals retain the lower male vocal pitch.

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