Transgender women have many characteristics of females to begin with. Mentally they are female with their thought processes and actions mirroring that of a woman.
Physically, many Trans women also have certain basic features of a woman. Maybe small hands, fine facial features, the curve of their back or their slim legs. Or maybe just their overall physique, being slighter in build and weighing less than many men.
Yet some of their characteristics still have either a male bias or have not developed to be like females. Obviously, things such as overall body shape where few Trans women have natural breasts, which may need attention if they are to be seen as complete women. Surgical adjustments can, of course, be considered and many Trans women feel that they need some cosmetic enhancements. Such things as changes to their nose or other facial features, Adam’s apple or “the big one”: gender confirmation surgery which involves the removal of the penis and testicles and creation of a vagina.
But, leaving aside surgery, many Transgender woman opt for courses of female hormones in order to “feminize” themselves. Depending upon the advice of the endocrinologist they are consulting (the specialist in charge of hormone treatment), a typical Trans woman may take 1, 2 or 3 types of female hormones or supplements. Without going into the medical side too much, some hormones are to feminize, whilst others are to suppress hints or traits of maleness. These may be to suppress the production of testosterone or the need to shave too frequently.
Once starting to take a course of hormones, a Trans woman is basically on them for life. Some changes as a result of taking hormones are permanent whilst others can be stopped, if not reversed. So, ceasing to take hormones is not really an option for many.
In any event, the key effects of female hormones on the body of a Transgender person are:
stimulation of natural breast growth: this may be a relatively slow process and, in reality, many Trans women only ever end up with an “A” cup size of natural breast issue. Invariably, if breast size is important, a number of Transgender women decide to have breast augmentation surgery to supplement what they have developed through taking hormones. But many start hormones and see what develops. Certainly, hormones make nipples and the areola change in sensitivity and prominence as well as, in some cases, color;
body fat is redistributed: male body fat tends to gravitate more to the stomach leaving many men with paunches as they age. Female body fat usually moves more towards hips, thighs and bottoms. If the Trans woman has slim, male-type hips, this redistribution of body fat is a welcome change, resulting in a more feminine body shape. It enables Transgender women to fit dresses or skirts better and makes them look more naturally feminine. Once fat is so distributed it’s very hard to reverse this change even if hormones are stopped;
skin becomes softer: Estrogen, a popular female hormone, softens the skin, especially on the face. That rugged facial look associated with many males will gradually dissipate with the continued used of Estrogen, leaving the facial features of a Trans woman softer and more feminine. Coupled with feminine facial surgery (“FFS”) and, perhaps laser treatment to remove unwanted facial hair, many Trans women can successfully hide all traces of maleness in their faces;
stimulates growth of finger, toe nails and hair: all women, not just Trans women, focus on having nice, cultured finger and toe nails and, of course, beautiful hair. Hormones stimulate the growth of nails and hair, enabling Transgender women to enjoy having long attractive nails and hair. Female hormones can also slow down the advent of male pattern baldness if started early enough;
moods and sensitivity: perhaps the greatest change caused by taking female hormones is not so obvious. That’s because there will be no tangible or visible effects. But hormones change the moods and sensitivities of Trans women. Some Transgender women can be prone to greater mood swings, varying between being really happy and almost borderline depression. For others, their perspective changes on life with the main argument being that that they were already thinking like a female for most of the time but with hormone to support this, their total outlook becomes from a female perspective.
Many Trans women become may be more emotional about things, cry or get upset more easily (at, say, sad songs or films)
It’s very hard to generalise about the effects of hormones on Transgender woman as each T-girl is unique and likely to be different in her responses. However, the above is a good starting point to know for when you meet the Trans woman of your dreams!