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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 209–226 | Cite as

Endocrine Therapy of Transsexualism and Potential Complications of Long-Term Treatment

  • Walter Futterweit
Article

Abstract

Physiological principles of the interrelationship of sex hormones and their regulation are the foundation of understanding appropriate treatment of the transsexual patient. While both genetic males and females have estrogens and androgens, the quantitative sex hormone production is genetically predetermined by sex hormone production both in the gonads and via peripheral conversion of hormone precursors to sex steroids. Sex hormones exert a negative feedback on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland whereby gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are regulated or suppressed by the endogenous levels of these hormones. Sexhormonal therapyinduces attenuated GnRH stimulation of LH and FSH causing a reduction of serum sexhormone levels. It is clear that estrogen as well as androgen therapy have a dual role: (i) induction of feminization or virilization and (ii) suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis leading to a reduction of endogenous estradiol or testosterone secretion. Cross-sex hormonal treatment may have substantial medical side effects. The smallest dosage of hormonal therapy compatible with the above clinical aims should be used.

TRANSSEXUALISM GENDER IDENTITYDISORDERS TRANSSEXUALISM TREATMENT HORMONAL THERAPY HORMONAL THERAPYTRANSSEXUALISM HORMONAL COMPLICATIONS 

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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

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  • Walter Futterweit

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