Physical and hormonal evaluation of transsexual patients: A longitudinal study

Walter J. Meyer, Alice Webb, Charles A. Stuart, Jordan W. Finkelstein, Barbara Lawrence, Paul A. Walker

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114 Scopus citations


The physical and hormonal characteristics of 60 male-to-female transsexuals and 30 female-to-male transsexuals were measured before or during treatment with commonly used forms and dosages of hormones. Only two patients (both female-to-male) had either a congenital defect in hormonal production or abnormal genital development. Patients were seen at 3- to 6-month intervals for an average of 18 months. The response to therapy was examined over time; physical parameters, hormonal concentrations, liver function tests, lipids, and glucose were measured. Three patients were changed from ethinyl estradiol to conjugated estrogen because of liver enzyme elevations. Ethinyl estradiol (0.1-0.5 mg/day) was equal to conjugated estrogen (7.5-10 mg/day) in its ability to suppress testosterone and gonadotropins and to promote breast growth. Maximum breast growth required 2 years of therapy. During treatment with testosterone, female-to-male transsexuals had a significant mild elevation of cholesterol and triglyceride. The female-to-male transsexuals receiving testosterone cypionate, 200 mg every 2 weeks, ceased to have menstrual periods and became progressively masculinized. A mean maximal clitoral length of 4.6 cm which achieved by 1 year of therapy. Based on the data generated by this study, we recommend as hormonal therapy 0.1-0.5 mg/day of ethinyl estradiol or 7.5-10 mg/day of conjugated estrogen for male-to-female transsexuals, and intramuscular testosterone cypionate, 200 mg every 2 weeks, for female-to-male transsexuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-138
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1986


  • breast
  • clitoris
  • estrogen
  • hormone
  • testes
  • testosterone
  • transsexual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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