Week 18 HRT effects: Physical and emotional changes

I am two week away from 5 months on hormone replacement therapy. It certainly has not felt like 5 months, the time has flown by. That is a pretty new experience for me, time dragged prior to HRT.

There is not a lot new to say regarding physical changes. Breast development and fat redistribution have continued. The increased width in my hips and upper chest have resulted in a pretty distinct hourglass silhouette, which is odd to see (but not undesired). During the past few weeks, my breast development has also continued. They have actually had a bit of a growth spurt and now many of my shirts no longer fit. They also outgrew the bras that I purchased a month ago. In hindsight, buying a couple of bras at only 3 months of HRT may have been premature. At the same time as this growth the tenderness and sensitivity of my breasts have increased dramatically. Previously, the sensation was at worst mildly irritating. Now it is quite painful and requires far less to force to irritate, sometimes the motion of my shirt against my chest is enough to cause discomfort.

There have been far more changes to my emotional and mental state in the past few weeks. I feel far more connected to my own emotions. Prior to HRT, any emotions that I felt were pretty weak. Previously, my emotional experiences were mostly cognitive, thinking “This is sad, I should feel sadness”, instead of actually feeling “the emotion of sadness”. That is completely different now, I actually feel emotions. I no longer feel cut off from them. This increased ability to connect with my emotions has also resulted in me being able to cry. I have probably cried more times so far in my time on HRT than I did in the 5 years prior. It is pretty amazing to feel the level of emotional range that I have access to now that I am on HRT.

There has also been a couple of more minor emotional changes. First, I now have a much harder time with violence in media. I have always been averse to realistic violence in movies and television, but it has gotten more intense since being on HRT. This is probably not a unique effect of HRT, but is a result of the stronger emotions. A second emotional change since starting hormones is a general sense of feeling “right”. It is pretty difficult for me to explain, but the effects and general feeling of being on estrogen just feel right. I don’t know if this is what other trans people refer to as gender euphoria, but it just feels better mentally and physically.

Most of these changes have probably not arisen in the last two weeks, but rather have slowly occurred over the last 4.5 months. Emotional and mental changes are hard to detect, am I just having a good day or is this the HRT? Gradual physical changes are similarly hard to detect. It is only over time that I can sense most changes.

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