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Female to Male Transition Process: What You Should Know

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Vincent Sales · Updated Jul 25, 2022

Female to Male Transition Process: What You Should Know

Gender identity refers to one’s personal conception of being male, female or another gender. Gender expression, on the other hand, refers to how a person expresses their gender identity in terms of outward characteristics such as clothing, behavior, speech and more. The term “transgender” is an umbrella term that refers to people whose gender identity and gender expression do not align with their birth sex. Many transgender people undergo a process called “transitioning,” where one makes a journey from male to female or female to male. Let’s take a closer look at the female to male transition process.

What Is Transitioning?

Transitioning refers to the process of adopting the physical characteristics of the opposite sex to change the way you look and feel and become a member of the gender you identify with. Transitioning can be done medically, socially, and legally. It can also refer to a female to male transition process, or vice versa. 

Transitioning is a complex process and the experiences of transgenders vary from one person to another. Transgenders often begin transitioning by “coming out” – that is, verbalizing their preferred gender to people they feel safe with. They then start to make little changes in their behavior and may continue until they medically transition. Some transgenders do not medically transition while others do. There is no right or wrong way of transitioning.

What Are the Different Kinds of Transitioning?

Transitioning can be done medically, socially, and legally. 

Medical transitioning involves the use of hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgical procedures. For example, females who want to be identified as males may receive testosterone therapy and surgical treatments such as a mastectomy to remove the breasts.

The term social transitioning refers to a change in an individual’s outward and physical appearance as well as the use of their preferred gender pronoun. Some examples of social transitioning include cross-dressing, changing hairstyles, and using the gender pronouns usually assigned to the opposite sex to refer to themselves. Social transitioning can also involve coming out to friends and family, and changing their name.

Finally, legal transitioning involves the process of changing your designated gender on your government and identity documents. These can include your birth certificate or passport, so that they reflect the gender you identify with.

What Are the Options for Medical Transitioning?

The male to female transition process may include:

  • Estrogen therapy to induce female characteristics such as less facial hair growth, and redistribution of fat mass towards the hips and breasts
  • Breast augmentation surgery to create breasts
  • Facial feminization surgery to create a more feminine face
  • Laser hair removal
  • Tracheal shave to make Adam’s apple smaller 

The female to male transition process may include:

  • Testosterone therapy to induce male characteristics such as muscle growth and facial hair growth
  • Chest reconstruction, “top surgery,” or mastectomy (the removal of breast tissue)
  • Hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy or the removal of the primary reproductive organs such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries
  • Phalloplasty or the surgical construction of a penis
  • While some people will be able to transition both socially and medically, others will choose to transition only socially and not medically. There are also people who transition medically who only choose to take hormonal therapies. And there are people who decide to undergo only specific surgical procedures. At the end of the day, the choice depends on the person.

Key Takeaway

Transitioning is a complex process that involves various factors such as personal preferences and financial capacity. There are many ways to transition – socially, medically, and legally. Not all people will decide to transition, but regardless of how a person chooses to transition, they should always be treated with respect and dignity.

Learn more about Sexual Wellness here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Martha Juco, MD


Written by Vincent Sales · Updated Jul 25, 2022

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