Testosterone treatment can help ease psychological distress for transgender men because it results in changes that make them feel more at home in their bodies, such as a beard and a deeper voice.

  • Transgender men (people who were assigned female at birth but identify as men) will use testosterone treatment for their entire lives.
  • The hormone gives transgender men traits such as a beard, stronger muscles and a deeper voice.
  • Testosterone treatment can also have positive psychological effects on transgender men, such as easing feelings of gender dysphoria.

A transgender man is someone who was classified as female at birth, but identifies as a man.

Transgender people often experience something called gender dysphoria. This is a feeling of intense body discomfort because the sex they were born with differs from the gender they identify as.

People who experience gender dysphoria are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than those who don’t.

Testosterone treatment can go a long way to help to ease this distress for transgender men.

How does it work?

Testosterone treatment helps transgender men to develop physical male traits. Testosterone is a male hormone.

People who take testosterone develop facial hair, a deeper voice and stronger muscles. Their menstrual cycles will stop too.

How much testosterone do transgender men have to take?

The dose people inject depends on how long they’ve been on the treatment and which brand of testosterone they’re using.

The dosage is usually increased gradually until the amount of testosterone in someone’s blood is within the range usually found in people assigned male at birth.

What happens after testosterone treatment?

Most transgender men will need testosterone treatment for their entire lives.

But testosterone treatment is often a crucial step for people considering surgery that helps them to look more like the gender they identify with.

This is called gender-affirming surgery.

This story was produced by the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism. Sign up for the newsletter.