Sexual health: changes you can expect

Trans people have sex lives that are as pleasurable and fulfilling as anyone else’s. There is also research suggesting that timely gender affirming healthcare can be associated with greater satisfaction and confidence with romantic and sexual experiences.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that the bodily changes that are produced by gender affirming hormone treatment can change how you experience sexual arousal, desire, and pleasure. You may find that you experience erotic pleasure from different parts of your body and through different kinds of sexual activity. Some people notice that their orgasms begin to feel different. It is perfectly healthy to explore and experiment with your new sense of sexuality through masturbation or by engaging in different kinds of sexual activity.

Reference

  • Bungener, S. L., de Vries, A. L. C., Popma, A., and Steensma, T. D. (2020). “Sexual Experiences of Young Transgender Persons During and After Gender-Affirmative Treatment”. Pediatrics, 146 (6): e20191411.

What changes in my sexual health should I expect?

If you are taking feminising hormone treatment, you may notice that penile erections become less frequent and less strong. However, you will still be able to have erotic sensations and be able to orgasm. If the loss of erections is a problem, then medications such as sildenafil and tadalafil can help. You may notice penile atrophy, or a decrease penis size.

If you are taking masculinising hormone treatment, you may notice your clitoris increasing in size, especially when you are sexually aroused. You may also notice vaginal atrophy, which is the thinning and drying of the vaginal tissue. Sometimes this can lead to some discomfort. Vaginal atrophy can be treated with oestriol cream, which is applied topically to the vagina.

Nonetheless, it is important to remember that trans people have sex lives that are as pleasurable and fulfilling as anyone else’s. There is also research suggesting that timely gender affirming healthcare can be associated with greater satisfaction and confidence with romantic and sexual experiences. It is perfectly healthy to explore and experiment with your new sense of sexuality through masturbation or by engaging in different kinds of sexual activity.

Updated on February 16, 2024

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