Many transgender men and women seek hormone therapy as part of the transition process. Exogenous testosterone is used in transgender men to induce virilization and suppress feminizing characteristics. In transgender women, exogenous estrogen is used to help feminize patients, and anti-androgens are used as adjuncts to help suppress masculinizing features. Guidelines exist to help providers choose appropriate candidates for hormone therapy, and act as a framework for choosing treatment regimens and managing surveillance in these patients. Cross-sex hormone therapy has been shown to have positive physical and psychological effects on the transitioning individual and is considered a mainstay treatment for many patients. Bone and cardiovascular health are important considerations in transgender patients on long-term hormones, and care should be taken to monitor certain metabolic indices while patients are on cross-sex hormone therapy.
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