Testosterone and lung function?

I rarely speak about my gender on here, so many of you may be unaware that I had to come out as trans earlier on in the year ('had to' to avoid further years of pain).

Quick rundown on transness; feel free to skip if you get it already! All this means is that while my body may look female, and maybe my chromosomes are XX (although that actually isn't a given anyway), my brain is male and this causes a disconnect between my body and who I am. People like me are known as 'FTM' (female-to-male), and people like Caitlyn Jenner or Laverne Cox are known as 'MTF' (male-to-female). Some people know their gender is incongruent with their sex, but don't feel fully male or female or even any gender, so are often referred to as 'MTX' or 'FTX'. Gender is something which is consolidated in people by the age of 3 years old, so yes, it is entirely possible for a child to know (think of Jazz), despite what people think. Some people have a mild disconnect and may choose to have no treatment but just dress in a way which represents their gender more, and have people use the name and pronouns (he, she, they, xe, hers, xyr etc.) which fit them best. Other people have severe dysphoria, like me, and want all the treatments (top surgery, bottom surgery, hormone treatment for FTMs, or bottom surgery, laser hair removal, hormone treatment and testosterone blockers for MTFs) although this is hard as not all treatments are covered by the NHS. Many people are somewhere in-between, e.g. they might want to have their breasts removed and do testosterone but not have a phalloplasty, or they may choose to have speech therapy to raise their voice and t-blockers to stop them getting any more masculine, but no other treatments.

Right, now for the question!

I am a bit closer to getting the referral to the gender clinic where I can get a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria and treatment can be discussed.

One really important aspect of treatment for many FTMs is testosterone injections weekly. They check your health thoroughly before starting any kind of hormone treatment but I'm worried that my Brittle Asthma might be a contraindication to testosterone treatment.

However, I also wondered if it might be the other way round instead? As in, I wondered if testosterone might have beneficial effects?

After all, we know that people assigned male at birth (AMAB) going through puberty frequently experience a reduction of, or even complete remission of, their asthma, and we know that adults AMAB have greater predicted values for peak flow and spirometry tests. We also know that people assigned female at birth (AFAB) are more likely to 'get' asthma or see a worsening of their symptoms following puberty and we know this is because of hormones.

So is it possible? Any thoughts? Of course I will be asking the doctors this when discussion about testosterone treatment starts but I can't start until I'm 18 anyway on the NHS, so I'd just like to know if anyone knows the answer or has any thoughts on this :)

-- Matt

4 Replies

  • The only thought I have is that I wish you well and hope everything goes well for you . you certainly have so many problems life must be very difficult for you but I just send you all my best wishes even though I know this is no help ♥

  • I think you need to discuss this with your doctors. I'm sure they will look into it. I have no real knowledge on how testosterone works so can't really advice. You may see an improvement.

    Want to wish you the best of luck!

  • Firstly, huge congratulations on coming out! You've a big journey ahead but you seem to be facing into it with positivity, so I wish you all the luck in the world :)

    I've no insights to give re: testosterone though I'm afraid, but what you're asking is very interesting. Does your assigned gender at birth determine your likelihood of severe asthma, or can you circumvent that destiny by changing your gender? I reckon there's a PhD thesis in this! I wonder if there are any research groups/individuals who would be interested in following your journey?

    I desperately want to know how this works out for you, because it really is fascinating. Will you keep us posted? :)

  • The only thing I can add to this is that as an AFAB who had asthma from an early age, I didn't notice any real change in my asthma post puberty. I'm now at the other end of cycle, so currently going through all the massive hormone swings associated with menopause. No real change to report with my asthma status there either (though I suppose there's time yet).

    Best of luck with all this.

    PS. I suppose the only thing I ought to add here is that my asthma is well controlled (and usually was even as a child, provided I took my medication twice daily). The exception to this is aerobic exercise, which has always caused problems.

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