Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Testosterone Cessation: Planning for Change

Today is the day I start weaning myself off of the hormones.  Most of the trans men I have talked to have actually gone off of it cold turkey... but they also largely stopped because they ran out of money and not out of choice, hence why they'd end so abruptly.  Since I hate giving myself shots so damn much, rather than giving myself half-injections at a normal rate of once every seven days I will be giving myself full injections at once every 14 days until the bottle is complete.  It will probably still be a rough ride, but less rough than if I just flat out stopped.

Based on the fact that I have gone up to three weeks without hormones before, it will take a while before anything really weird happens to me.  After three weeks cold turkey my main problems were hot flash and mild/manageable dizziness which went away pretty quickly after starting hormones again.

Warning for anybody reading... the rest of this talks about periods, and rather graphically so.

One of the concerns I'll need to deal with is how to deal with menstruation once that starts again.  This is something I have been mentally planning for for months now, but I haven't actually done anything yet.

So here's the problem:  I am aware that back before testosterone my periods were somewhat irregular, but I generally saw them coming due to bodily factors I don't really understand.  I couldn't plan on it coming exactly once every 28 days, but I could sort of sense or feel a day or so before it came that it was on its way, so I was able to apply a pad in time or, later, keep my menstrual cup with me (something I usually did anyway).  Since I'm a stealth trans man who has a job with lengthy hours, I need to come up with a plan for how to deal with it, because there is just no telling when I'll bleed next.

First, since I don't know how much I'll bleed or if I'll remember how it feels (or even if it will feel the same) I'll rely on and be grateful for the fact that I habitually wear black pants at work.  I'll also keep a couple extra pairs of briefs in my bag along with a method of transporting out bloodied ones if that happens.

I'll be making a set of cloth pads that are made to fit in boxer briefs.  There are a few more options on the market for menstruating trans men and other people with periods who don't wear panties, but I don't like most of them, and regular pads aren't made to fit in this kind of underwear.  I have an idea to make snappable modified briefs with pads made for their size which I'll be attempting to make once I get the supplies.  They will be thinner, because they're just backup.

I used to use a DivaCup, but that was so long ago that it's probably hanging out at my mom's house somewhere and I don't want to be digging around there like "Hey, mom, I'm planning on getting my period again and need this thing I left at your house five years ago."  These are much less pricy than they used to be, and I'll be getting them, but I'm slightly worried that I won't be able to wear them right away though due to changes in the vagina as I can't handle a lot of penetration at all since hormones, one of the reasons I'm stopping them.  It may take a while for it to return to a state where it can handle a cup.  So I'll have it on hand, but will also be making the pads.

I know a lot of trans guys wind up getting abladed or some other surgery to stop their periods... I don't think that it'll be necessary unless I choose to get a hysterectomy (while keeping the ovaries) later.  For now I'll just stick to the natural menstrual health regimen I was doing before hormones.

More updates as they come!

Happy trails,
--Setkheni-itw