Taking feminizing hormones usually involves taking estradiol, or more specifically, 17-beta estradiol. There are several ways which you can administer this medication. You can choose to take it through a transdermal patch, oral tablets, sublingual tablets, or as an injection. The goal of taking feminizing hormones is to bring your estrogen levels up to that of a biological female for your age.
There are some side effects to taking estrogen such as: weight gain, hot flashes, migraines, and mood swings.
The goal of feminizing hormone therapy is to accentuate the secondary sex characteristics of biological females and decrease the effects of testosterone. Feminizing hormones are typically taken in conjunction with an androgen suppression medication in order to reap the benefits of estrogen. This combination will lessen the effects of testosterone and allow your body to be influenced by estrogens.
In the United States, a common androgen suppression hormone prescribed is spironolactone, which is a diuretic commonly used to treat high blood pressure. Unfortunately, many of the secondary sex characteristics (like facial hair) are permanent after puberty, and will not completely reverse with hormone therapy alone.
Estradiol is the steroid hormone. 17-beta estradiol is a synthesized estrogen that is biologically identical to the estrogen produced by the human ovary.
A transdermal patch is a patch that administers the medication through the skin
Sublingual tablets are a type of oral medication that is taken under the tongue. Sublingual tables are absorbed into the bloodstream faster than pills that you swallow.
Androgen suppression medication prevents the production or action of testosterone to allow the effects of estrogen to take place.