FTM Transgender - What are the Effects of Hormones on Breasts?

Firstly, I'm a trans male (FTM) and unfortunately I have a D cup. Top surgery is too expensive right now, but I plan on starting hormones soon. I'm looking for a few facts on the affects of hormones (T) on breasts if any. Do they cause any shrinkage at all or any other kind of side effects to breasts?

Doctor Answers 6

Hormones for FtM SRS

Male hormones will suppress estrogen.  This will lead to some decrease in breast volume but not to a decrease in breast skin.  You can expect your breasts to droop as the volume decreases.  To get from a D cup to a male chest contour you will need a formal surgical procedure at some point.

Testosterone may cause acne and hair development on your chest.  If you develope hair it will likely be permanent, even if you stop the hormones.

Testosterone effects on breast tissue

I have seen many patients on testosterone who experience shrinkage of their breast size, almost as if a beach ball has lost some of its air. There is a lot of patient variability to the response to testosterone. At the same time there are other secondary effects of testosterone which will develop, so you should have an endocrinologist managing the use of this medicine.

Sheldon Lincenberg, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Effects of Hormones on Breasts

You may notice a slight decrease in your breast size after commencing hormone therapy.  Based on your description of having a D cup, however, it is unlikely that your breasts will shrink considerably.  You will likely require surgery to address the breast tissue, excess skin, and nipple position.  A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon can help you to understand what your options are.  

Josef Hadeed, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Hormone Therapy Effects on Breasts

Hi BeingMe,

Thanks for the post. While hormone therapy may reduce the breast tissue to varying degrees, it will not address the skin excess. Given that you are a D cup, you will likely have too much skin even if you experience significant decrease in the amount of tissue from the hormones. Based on this, you will likely need top surgery (most likely double incision top surgery) to truly achieve the contour you desire.  Financially speaking, many practices offer financing plans to help patients.

Sincerely,

Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

T and Double Incision Mastectomy

Top surgery is really the most definitive way to address your D cup breasts.  There are ways to finance the operation.  Hormone therapy may have some effect on your breasts, and if it is part of your plan otherwise, it will benefit you to start before surgery.  I would not expect the type of resolution that you are looking for without surgery however.

Breasts and testosterone in FTM transformations

I agree with Dr. Greenwald, your D cup breasts will need surgery eventually to tailor the excess skin.  Hormone therapy is not going to provide adequate skin reduction by itself. 

Randy Wong, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.