Testosterone questions for my family doctor

I saw my family doctor on Wednesday of this week to ask her some questions about testosterone therapy:

Where does testosterone come from? Is it synthetic?

Yes, testosterone is synthetic and made in a lab. I’ve read about “all-natural”, “bio-identical” testosterone, but I guess it’s not quite the same thing.

Who are the primary manufacturers?

Testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate are produced by Cytex and Sandoz. (Albert Hofmann worked for Sandoz when he discovered LSD in 1938. I feel a little better about the prospect of sending money their way knowing that they funded that research!) I couldn’t find any additional information online about Cytex.

Can I obtain testosterone locally without problems?

Yes, your local Wal-Mart will probably have the best pricing.

How often would I inject, once a month, or twice a month?

Hard to say at this point. While my doctor has experience with testosterone therapy for bio-men, she hasn’t treated an FTM transgender patient before. For this reason, she is looking to refer me to a doctor who practices about an hour away from where I live. This doctor has experience with FTMs and could do my initial physical assessment and design my treatment, then my local doctor can oversee that course of treatment.

Can I do my own shots?

My doctor currently administers shots for men who are taking testosterone, but said that she could show me how to do it myself so I wouldn’t have to go to the office for my shots (after all, I do have experience with needles through teenage IV drug use). I have the option of injecting in my buttocks or thigh muscle. The buttocks is not easy to do yourself, but the thigh could be an option if I want to tackle this solo.

How often would I need to have blood work done?

Every few months, and that can be done with my doctor.

Do I need to see an endocrinologist?

Unlikely, as I don’t seem to have any hormonal problems (other than being born without enough testosterone production and too much estrogen, ie. being born bio-female.)

Can I get cholesterol testing?

I have a lot of heart problems in my family history, so I’m concerned about increased cholesterol with taking testosterone. Despite being almost 20 years younger than the average person getting cholesterol testing, my doctor thought it would be a good idea to see where my levels are at now, as a metric to compare against should I go forward with T. I had blood work done yesterday.

The next steps: My doctor is waiting for contact information for this other doctor who has experience with treating FTMs. Provided this doctor is still practicing, I will get an appointment with him/her to discuss the next steps in assessing my physical readiness for hormone therapy. I will keep reading and exploring, and will also seek out another session with Dr. Preece in Vancouver to further discuss my emotional and social readiness for hormone therapy.

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