Introduction: Transsexualism associates biological normality with the conviction of belonging to the opposite sex and the gender reassignment request. The therapy includes psychological, hormonal and surgical treatment. Only limited clinical studies addressing cross-sex hormonal therapy and side effects exist.
Methods: Here, we report the results of a drafted questionnaire evaluating etiological aspects and treatment outcome. The questionnaire was distributed to transsexual patients participating in the German transsexual meeting in July 2007 in Munich. Thirty-eight data sets were analysed. All patients received hormonal therapy; 70% of the male-to-female transsexuals (MFT) and 55.5% of the female-to-male transsexuals (FMT) had undergone surgery at study time point.
Results: Out of 38, 20 were MFT (average age 43.3±11.5 years; average age of diagnosis 39.4±11.7 years) and 18 FMT (average age 36.2±8.4 years; average age of diagnosis 31.6±8.4 years). All patients followed differing treatment regimes: 55% of the MFT received transdermal estrogenes, 65% oral estrogenes, 30% oral progesterone and 2% intramuscular progesterone. In FMT, 23.5% received transdermal testosterone and 94.1% intramuscular testosterone. 95% of all MFT and 100% of FMT patients reported to be satisfied with the HT. However, 25% of MFT reported symptoms such as general weakness and tiredness while 44.4% of FMT reported side effects such as acne, sudoration and depressive mood. MFT as well as FMT (55 and 61.1%, respectively) reported a significant weight increase following hormonal therapy (mean increase 6.9±3.6 kg).
Conclusion: Although patients report overall satisfaction with the hormonal treatment, the preliminary data points to a high prevalence of side effects. Further analysis in a larger sample of patients will be performed to elucidate if certain subgroups are more affected than others to optimize future cross-sexual therapy concepts.