- Apr 14, 2020
Well, there is the Dr. Jerilynn Prior paper (J Clin Endocrinol Metab, April 2019, 104(4):1181–1186), but other than that the research is thin.The UCSF, probably the institution with the globally largest rans care experience, writes about progesterone in this paper, they also mention that progesterone can have a direct androgenizing effect (tara, my hair loss).
Other papers come to the same conclusion, there is no evidence that P will do anything for trans women.Introduction The goal of feminizing hormone therapy is the development of female secondary sex characteristics, and suppression/minimization of male secondary sex characteristics. General effects include breast development (usually to Tanner stage 2 or 3), a redistribution of facial and body...transcare.ucsf.edu
The only constantly positive effect of progesterone is reported by Dr. Powers and his patients. On the other hand, in one of his presentations Powers complains that none of his papers have been accepted for publication. I can only guess that his papers were not peer reviewed?
I conclude from this that one can take it, and hope for some results, or just leave this hormone out of one's body. I take it for the other benefits it could have. I don't need it for boob growth, I have enough of that for my taste, but hope to get a better sleep/wake rhythm fro it. So far, nothing happened.
A proper cohort of trans women is very hard to gather for this type of study because of the wide variation of prior's HRT history, age and medical histories. I actually discussed this with my previous endo and these were the reasons he gave for not starting a clinical study at George Washington Medical School, where he was a professor (he's at Harvard's transgender medicine program now).
I take 400 mg progesterone (oral) at night for 10-14 days a month. It does have a significant affect on my sleep, equal to or greater than 5 mg Valium. (I have had chronic insomnia for the last few years.)
I get my HRT regimen through my OB/GYN, Dr. Laura Pickford, whoso one of the very few physicians in the DC area who treats trans patients. While she is not on board with Dr. Powers' regimen, she is at least willing to keep me on progesterone. The cycling is because of my desire to increase areola size, and other than puberty, menstrual cycle variations in P and E levels are the only other correlation.
Today I learned I have been accepted as a patient at Dr Powers' practice. I sought this out for various reasons, which I won't elaborate on for the time being, but he is the only physician I am aware of that is willing to think through the endocrinology from the ground up and not simply try to mimic cis-women's hormone levels. I had one endocrinologist tell me I should have my estradiol levels at post-menopausal levels because of my age. That is one of the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Post-menopausal hormone deficiencies are something to be avoided, not mimiced!
Anyway, we shall see what we shall see. I simply feel lucky to have these options. Many trans persons do not.