About a male taking female hormones

Updated November 21, 2016

If a male has too much of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, this can result in feminine physical characteristics, such as large breasts, which is called gynaecomastia. Men who are purposely changing their sex take female hormones to invoke these physical characteristics.


Taking female hormones can result in reduction of body and trunk hair but isn't effective in limiting hair growth on a man’s face. Hair will become less visible and less course when a man takes female hormones and vellus hair, which is the type of hair that women have on parts of their body, will appear.

Oestrogen and Progesterone

Oestrogen is a feminising hormone and results in female features. When an individual has Turner syndrome and her ovaries do not produce hormones she will not be as feminine looking as a woman who has functioning ovaries. Progesterone is the second female hormone. It doesn’t have as great an impact on female traits as does oestrogen but it does have an effect on breast tissue.


Beard hairs become less dense and softer when men take female hormones, according to Transgender Care.

Penis and Testicles

Penis length is not changed by taking female hormones; however, the penis may become flaccid as a result of the hormones and lower abdominal fat may occur, which makes the penis look smaller. Getting a spontaneous erection while taking female hormones is less likely to happen but can still occur. The size of a man’s testicles will be reduced by one-quarter during the first year of taking female hormones.

Breasts and Voice

A man’s breast size will increase when he takes female hormones or naturally has too many of them. Oestrogen does not impact the pitch of the voice. If a man is transitioning to a woman, he will keep his low voice.

Weight Gain, No Skeletal Change

Oestrogen can cause a man to gain weight around his hips but skeletal structure will not change.

Suppressing Androgen; Effects on Mood

When a man is transitioning to female, he is given anti-androgen treatment. Androgens are male hormones that need to be suppressed. This can result in fragile nails and dry skin. The combination of oestrogen and anti-androgens can affect mood because the brain is affected.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.