For sharing our stories (stories of transgendered persons either FTM or MTF)
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Hi. I found this community a few days ago when looking for info about herbal t boosters. I started taking a couple tabs of maca, ginger and avena sativa every day just two weeks ago. I haven't noticed anything much as of yet because I just started. I have a quesiton though. I was just wondering if anybody who has been on herbs for a little while has noticed any changes with their periods. I know that t will stop your period if the dose is high enough, but I don't know how much of a boost herbs give you and whether it's enough to have an effect on the monthly cycle.
I will (finally) be making the transition from herbs to testosterone this month. It's been a long road for me, about a year or so on different herbs. I have had some masculinising effects but I need to get things moving a bit quicker for my mental health so have decided it's time to change over. I thought I'd post some thoughts here for those of you considering/on the herbs path. These are strictly my experiences & not meant for any replacement of medical supervision. I've had 3 blood tests now (I don't know the results of the 3rd one yet but the first showed a very slight increase in testosterone--the endo said there was a chance it could have been natural fluctuations but said could have been the herbs as well).
For the record: I started the herbs around Aug 06. I was on a few different ones over time: tribulus tabs (different versions but most recently Blue Up Stim Free from Bodybuilding.com--really helpful people), avena sativa (tincture formulas, stopped taking this after about 8 mths), maca (again different ones) and finally ginger (800 mg caps from www.lifestream.co.nz). I finished my last Blue Up a couple weeks ago and don't want to pay the money to buy more since I won't use it all before I start T so am about to take my last ginger tonight and then will just be on the maca. When I was taking the Blue Up I'd usually do 2 in the am and pm and a maca (and/or avena tincture) each time. I ran out of maca (& avena a long time before) so then went onto 2 Blue Up and 2 ginger & noticed the best shift in my voice. Again, it fluctuates still. When the Blue Up ran out I switched to 2 ginger and 1 maca. Now that the ginger is almost gone I'm down to 1 ginger and 2 maca.
I have had some masculinising effects. It isn't anything like what I would get on T, and it takes a long time and daily doses to get there. My face seems more masculine (I've noticed and had a friend notice yesterday when I took my glasses off to wipe my eyes). More hair? maybe, not sure. I've still got my two little chin patches with the odd stray hair in the middle and the hair on my arms does seem darker/a bit thicker. I didn't measure or anything so not sure. My voice still runs through the range however does seem deeper in general (have had a few comments on it). I still can't pass as male on the phone but if my cycles are in the right place do sound fairly deep. I think the ginger gave me the most noticeable drop.
So that's just my 2 cents. I figure there isn't a lot of info out there from people who have been on herbs awhile. This could all be annecdotal, but I know I wouldn't have had any of it if I just sat back and didn't do anything at all. I wasn't able to start T until now (personal issues/reasons) and I would have gone crazy if I hadn't been taking the herbs and feeling like I was doing something.
I am looking for a way to boost my testosterone to create subtle, more androgynizing effects. I am female bodied and have a very traditionally female fat distribution. Are there any natural testosterone boosters that can change that?
For instance, I recently heard about tribulus terrestris... it says it does not have masculinizing effects at all, but I am hoping that the sources were lying either to make it more marketable, or that a higher than usual dose could lead to some masculinization.
I want to keep the effects still modest - a slight help with forming muscle mass, and a slightly more masculine distribution of weight - but I still identify as genderqueer and am not out to anyone besides my girlfriend, and so don't want to have to deal too much with extra hair growth (though, being fairly hair-less, I have some leniancy in what would be too much of an increase). A slightly lower voice would be okay, but nothing too dramatic.
Any advice on what over the counter boosters could be taken to achieve these goals, and in what dosage sizes? (I am 5'4" 160lbs if that matters). Also, I hear about "cycling" them. What does that refer to, and is it necessary?
Thank you for any help.
Hey, who else is still taking the supplements? I started taking tribulus, yohimbe, and some others, all in one pill, the day after Christmas. So far my hair growth has doubled...at least in speed, not so much in any other way. My reactions to my deoderant have also changed. Now I have to put it on a couple times a day, versus just in the morning, but I'm also more active. What has everyone else experienced thus far, if anything?
Book suggestion: "Vital Man: Keys to Lifelong Vitality and Wellness for Men" by Stephen Harrod Buhner
# Paperback: 416 pages
# Publisher: Avery (December 30, 2002)
# ISBN: 1583331360
Info about natural medicine for men as they enter mid life. Many applications for enlightened female and FTM health.
Greetings. I'm a 33yo het female, non-trans, in a relationship with the coolest 'metro-sexual' het guy. We're 100% queer-friendly, vote Dem/Green, non-religious, etc. I'm here because there's really nowhere else to turn for community and info for a woman in my situation, currently...
Back in 2003 I read some article in The Stranger (Seattle's indy newspaper) by a woman touting the wonders of 'continuous birth control' dosing. This is where one takes birth control pills and skips the sugar pills in the 4th week and starts another pack immediately. By this method, one does not menstruate, nor cycle up down, nor experience PMS and, in theory, one will reduce chances of female cancers. Nature designed us to start periods at a later age than we now do, have more pregnancies, breast feed (breast is best!) and so on. A modern woman will, for a variety of reasons, have 3x more menstrual cycles than was meant to happen. Etc.
Seemed like a good plan. I was already in my late 20s and starting a family was not on the horizon so I thought this was my last window of opp to reduce my risk of female cancers by this method. A few months later I started a new relationship (see above) and of course we experienced the 'honeymoon' phase where things go swimmingly. Then things settled down, as they do, but my professional plans went in the toilet by summer of 2004. I lost my job and had to go on unemployment + go back to YET MORE college + a host of other stressful BS. It was too much for a young, hopeful relationship to have to weather.
Summer of 2004 to Summer 2005 we had very little sex and a LOT of relationship problems. Depression had set in, I had terrible pain and stinging with sex. We despaired greatly over our future. We wanted to finally get married, start a family, etc, but we were miserable together. Frankly, I was the one who was miserable and dragging him down with me. Planned Parenthood had handed out the pills but were ZERO help in addressing this issue for me. (The impression I got was that this was an 'old' person's problem not a teenage problem.) I turned to a naturopathic physician at Bastyr University who was able to turn my world around... over the course of the next year.
Turns out, birth control pills will elevate levels of "sex hormone binding globulin" or SHBG in a large percentage of women... and the levels will NOT go back down once stopping BC. At this point there is no data to predict how much time must pass before a woman's normal SHBG levels will return.
My naturopath started by switching me from Saint John's Wort to 5-HTP, a natural substance in the body that is a stop in the chain reaction converting the amino acid Tryptophan into Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that gives us a sense of well-being. Later in the day, Serotonin becomes Melotonin which gives us a good night's sleep. Look it up on Wikipedia.org
She urged me to get off the BC pills which I eventually did. Then, she started me on Pregnenolone, which is upstream from Testosterone by 2 levels. It helped some but didn't give me my mojo back. Results may vary for other people. Then we tried DHEA, downstream from Pregnenolone but upstream from T. This helped a bit. The mojo was starting to flicker a bit but not at the level I needed. A bit of good news: a few weeks after going off the BC pills, pain and stinging with sex went away.
I could kick that writer from The Stranger in the teeth. I just wonder how many women have had their sex lives and even relationships trashed by this advice. Anyway...
I'm still on 25 mg daily of DHEA to this day. Months later in Spring of 2006 we concluded that I was ready to try real testosterone. The other substances were all available at vitamin/supplement stores. The naturopath informed me that in the State of WA her hands were tied to prescribe me this stuff for another year. Some law had passed that would broaden the kinds of things naturopaths could prescribe but there was a phase-in period and my relationship could NOT wait another year. She referred me to a nurse practitioner (nurse with a PhD) who was also a naturopath that prescribed the pharmaceutical T to me.
With both naturopaths I was tested for my level of free (unbound) testosterone. My levels had sunk to levels experienced by post-menopausal women. They worried about my bone density. Imagine being only 33 and having osteoporosis set in for no reason other than having been duped into taking birth control pills! I wasn't ready for that.
We started on pills. All the pills are clearly formulated for men or FtM folks. The smallest doses were too big for me and I had to cut them with a pill cutter in 1/4 pieces. Pills are only meant to be cut so many times and mine frequently turned to crumbs and dust. My 2.5 mg doses were probably a bit smaller. I saved all the dust for the last doses in the prescription. I could feel some better mojo returning. I also got an outbreak of tiny zits on my forehead like I'd never had before. I was all prepared for secondary hair growth but it never came. We have 'good hair genes' on both sides of my family so I wasn't worried about male pattern baldness.
I went back to my new naturopath/nurse. It was clear we were going in the right direction but I needed greater control over dosing. I was switched to a type of T gel product. Currently I apply roughly 3/4 pumps to my arms or belly daily + the DHEA and other stuff. I read the info insert in the product and it's all marketed and tested for men only. There were all this cautionary almost hysterical statements about "for god's sake, keep this product away from women". I could laugh in their faces. This stuff has transformed my life in more ways than just sexually.
Before all this process, I had been on Saint John's Wort for inherited depression for about 9 years. SJW is basically good but really only knocked out depression 80-95%, depending on other factors (stress, seasonal affective disorder, etc). 5-HTP REALLY took care of business - and I began to sleep like a rock. But, testosterone took it all to "another level". I could write another book here about the transformation in my mood, attitude and even personality since getting on this stuff.
I have no zits from T anymore. My menstrual cycles are longer and my PMS nearly non existent - sometimes I don't even know my period is going to start until it just does. I never got the secondary hair growth as promised. I pluck a little here and there but it's all normal creeping hair for a woman of 33 (you should see my grandma's chin!). I'd love to get some free extra muscle and lower body fat out of this deal but so far nothing noticeable. (Damn!) I think my clit and labias are a little bigger now which my BF and I both think is wonderful. (I see pictures of big clits and big dicks on the web and I find both equally hot. It's a really interesting perspective.)
Anyway, I could go on and on about this process. I hope some of this has been interesting or useful to you all. I'm interested in learning more about enhancing my T levels. For women the few places right now are FTM sites and a >little< bit on body building sites, although the focus there is not quite right. Please feel free to reply, thanks.
so, i just started taking tribulus and maca last week. i've done a lot of research and stuff, but does anyone have any first hand results from either of these? also, how much are others taking on a daily bases? i'm following what the instructions on the bottle say, but what are your suggestions. i'm excited for the possibilities.
Sorry, did this then realised I should have LJ cut it so am amending since it's a bit long..
There was a link here recently to http://www.butch-femme.com/portal/forums/showthread.php?t=22872 where one of the main posters has been trying herbs to boost their testosterone. They have recently started a dedicated webpage for hormone alternatives. It's a work in progress but it has started. Check it out below if you are interested.