Research Relating to Transgender HRT
Mutual Medical Education for a Neglected Community
While there is a plethora of research on trans people, the focus of this repository is Gender Affirming HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). There is a section on affirming surgical procedures that will grow with time (and hopefully your help!), but the bulk of the research posted here will focus on the use of testosterones, estrogens, antiandrogens, progestogens, and puberty blockers (GnRH agonists).
Categories & How to Use Them
The research is divided into categories, but it's important to note that it's NOT divided by transition type or gender identity, with the exception of a special category for research that mentions non-binary folks. It hasn't been divided between trans maculine and trans feminine because many of the studies involve both and much of the research relating to the effects of testosterone and estrogen applies to both groups in opposing ways. If you are trans feminine and looking for information about the effects of going on estrogen, it's strongly encouraged that you also read the research about testosterone so you are aware of what effects you'll be losing when you start antiandrogens. The inverse applies for transmasculine folks as well. Some research appears in multiple categories as applicable, and the newest posted research will appear at the top of each category.
Some of these research papers are behind paywalls, meaning they are not free to read in their enirety. Reading the abstract can often give some valuable insight, and if you are a college student or work in medicine you may be able to access the full text version without paying. Some of the sites have a link that allows you to request the full version from the author, which often works as authors want their work to be read. The creators of this site firmly believe all research papers should be free to the public, but unfortunately academia and the scientific community are drenched in accessibility and class barriers. Great effort was put into locating free, full-text versions and the only ones behind paywalls could not be located elsewhere for free. If you find a link to a free, full-text version of a paper that is listed here behind a paywall, please submit it using the Submit a Link form so others can access it.
Not All Research is Equal
There are different types of research papers, ranging from studies of a single case to systematic reviews of all literature available on a topic. Research posted here is not necessarily hard fact, or even promoted as truth by the creators of this site. In fact, you may find some of it downright offensive, especially in regard to terminology used. Some of it is contradicted by other research posted here. The information is presented as-is, without opinion, for you to use how you see fit.
Here is a graphic that may help those who are new to research papers determine how much weight a single piece of research may have based on what type of paper it is:
Ways to Use This Research
If you have concerns that are backed up by research found here, print it out and take it to your doctor or healthcare provider. They may be able to help you understand what it means and/or it may be new information for them that ends up helping you and other trans folks.
Take it all in, and keep it in mind as you start your HRT journey. If something happens to you that you read about here, having the knowledge of why it's happening may be extremely helpful.
Prepare yourself for possibilities.
Consider the risks before you decide what steps you want to take in your transition. There are risks and rewards for everything, and only you can decide if it's worth it in your particular case.
If you have a loved one on HRT or considering it, educate yourself on what they may be experiencing.
Share this repository with friends, family, medical professionals, etc to increase general knowledge about transgender HRT!