A brief explanation of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for transgender individuals

Lukas Dressler Psychology
2 min readDec 14, 2023

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a gender-affirming medical procedure that allows transgender individuals to align their physical characteristics with their gender identity. HRT involves taking hormones to suppress the production of certain hormones and/or to increase the production of others.

For transgender men (individuals who were assigned female at birth but identify as male), testosterone is administered. Testosterone is responsible for the development of male secondary sex characteristics such as body hair, muscle mass and a deeper voice.

For transgender women (individuals who were assigned male at birth but identify as female), HRT typically involves taking oestrogen and an anti-androgen medication. Oestrogen is responsible for the development of female secondary sex characteristics such as breast development, softening of the skin and a decrease in body hair. Anti-androgen medication blocks the effects of testosterone, resulting in reduced muscle mass and body hair.

The effects of HRT are irreversible and transgender individuals usually have to take hormones for the rest of their life.

HRT can increase an individual’s confidence, sense of comfort, authenticity and overall well-being. In turn HRT can alleviate distress associated with gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria or gender incongruence is usually diagnosed by a specialist psychologist or psychiatrist when an individual experiences a distressing mismatch between their birth sex and their gender identity.

Before starting hormone therapy, it is important for individuals to have a thorough consultation with an appropriate healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about the treatment options and the potential risks and benefits. This may include a psychological evaluation and a physical examination. Regular follow-up visits with healthcare provider are essential to monitor the individual’s physical and emotional well-being.

Lukas Dressler Psychotherapy.plus

Lukas Dressler (he/him)
Counselling Psychologist (MSc.)
HCPC Registered No. PYL041915
Integrative Psychotherapist (MBACP)
Recognised Gender Specialist



Lukas Dressler Psychology

Counselling Psychologist (MSc.), HCPC Registered, Integrative Psychotherapist for Children and Young People.