The testosterone guinea pigs aren’t being recruited

After reading a bunch of medical horror stories resulting from the anabolic steroid (aka testosterone) doping of East German female athletes in the 1970s-80s, I scoured the web for solid information about testosterone’s effects on FTMs today. I found very sparse published research. There is one meta-analysis of 16 studies looking at 651 FTMs for cardiovascular risks (link below) that concludes:

Very low quality evidence, downgraded due to methodological limitations of included studies, imprecision and heterogeneity, suggests that cross‐sex hormone therapies increase serum triglycerides in MF and FM and have a trivial effect on HDL‐cholesterol and systolic blood pressure in FM. Data about patient important outcomes are sparse and inconclusive.

[for the non-scientists reading this, it means the few studies that even qualified for the meta-analysis were fatally flawed]


Ok then, I thought. Given the lack of published evidence, obviously FTMs are now being actively recruited into research studies looking at the physiological effects of “T” – right? This is a giant research need. What with the huge increase in women transitioning, there should be plenty of subjects out there.

The go-to place to find active, world-wide research studies is:

All you have to do is enter your search terms/keywords. As you can imagine, search terms like “prostate cancer” return thousands of results. I figured there should be a least a few dozen on testosterone’s effect on transitioning women.

I spent 45 minutes entering every conceivable combination of search terms, including: transgender testosterone, FTM testosterone, female-to-male testosterone, transsexual testosterone. I found one German study,  “Observational Study on Metabolism and Psychopathology in Transsexual Patients,” which should be a very interesting one to read once results are published, but it’s not about health effects of testosterone.

Apart from that? I found five. Not a single one was looking at possible adverse effects of testosterone. There is some basic science looking at testosterone and serotonin transporters, but nothing, nothing about T’s health effects.

Try searching yourself. See if you have better luck than I did ferreting out any significant research on this mass, uncontrolled chemical/pharmaceutical experiment currently being trialed on young women. I’ll be interested in hearing about any studies.

Meanwhile,  I guess the guinea pigs have to just keep on keeping on.

3 thoughts on “The testosterone guinea pigs aren’t being recruited

  1. Pingback: Anabolic steroid use in female athletes: Some links | 4thWaveNow

  2. Pingback: What’s at Stake? – Transcendence: Youth Trans Critical Professionals

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