Disclaimer: I am neither medically trained nor a doctor. The contents of this blog are simply my opinion and should not be considered sound medical advice.
Ever since receiving the bad news regarding my hormone levels earlier this week, I have been contemplating what I should do about them. My last lab work showed that I was back at cis male hormone levels, a state I have not been in since starting my transition a year ago. After considerable research and attempting to do things the proper way, I have made a decision. Starting this week, I plan to switch from biweekly injections to weekly injections to try and address my disappointing hormone levels. This appears to be the best and frankly only decent option that I have at my disposal.
Since getting my lab results back, I have tried all of the “correct” options for dealing with my hormone levels. First, I have verified with the testing lab that the results are mine and were not a mistake. A mixup by the lab wasn’t likely, but it was worth checking. Next, I tried rescheduling my upcoming HRT appointment to an earlier date. My next appointment is not until the end of May and I don’t want to stay at cis male hormone levels for an entire month. Unfortunately, my HRT provider had no earlier appointments available, so getting my dosages changed early was no longer a possibility. This leaves me with no “proper” option other than to wait for my next appointment. I will have to wait just for the chance to get my dosages changed.
I am not going to do that. I am currently taking 5 mg of Depo-Estradiol (estradiol cypionate) via injection every 14 days. My plan is to switch over to injecting every 7 days starting next week. This should raise my hormone trough levels (the lowest levels that I reach during my hormone cycle) with minimal impact on the peak levels. Fortunately, I will be able to easily make this change due to the odd way my pharmacy supplies my estradiol. Every month, my pharmacy dispenses me a bottle with 5 doses of estradiol and instructs me to use 2 and dispose of the remaining 3 doses. This always seemed wasteful to me and my doctor has approved me using all 5. This has allowed me to build up a small reserve of injectable estradiol without having to purchase any additional medication myself (which is good, Depo-Estradiol is prohibitively expensive outside of a pharmacy). The pharmacy does restrict my supply of needles and syringes to only 2 a month, however, I was able to buy more directly from the manufacturer. It was surprisingly cheap as well, I purchased enough needles and syringes to do weekly estradiol injections for an entire year for only $25 dollars. With enough syringes and estradiol, I have everything that I need to make this change to my HRT.
It is pretty frustrating to me that I even feel compelled to adjust my HRT myself, but the alternative is to wait and do nothing. I have tried to do things the “correct” way for the past year and it never seems to work. And my HRT provider’s response when their approach is not working is to try it for another 90 days and see if anything changes. This far into my transition, I am not willing to wait and hope that doing the same thing over and over again will lead to a different result this time (It never has previously). The only other option is to take control of my own gender transition and hope that doing so doesn’t alienate my HRT provider. This isn’t ideal, but it seems like the better of two pretty mediocre options.