Hormones: stigma and doing what is right for you

Real Stories Shared

The topic of reproductive health is swarming with taboo and stigma. This can lead to a range of problems, from being too hesitant to approach our doctor for help, to feeling isolated because we don't think anyone will understand what we're going through. Conversation is key in breaking down these barriers. Here, three people share their experiences.

Kenny Jones, 24: Menstruation as a transgender male


Kenny was born a female but knew from a young age he was meant to be male. Despite beginning hormone treatment as part of his transition eight years ago, he still experiences menstrual symptoms. For many transgender men, menstruation can be a difficult reminder of body dysmorphia. Kenny shares his story as a way of dismantling the taboo around the transgender experience and acting as a positive example for others in similar situations.

“My advice for a trans man that’s going through the same situation would be to understand that you didn’t choose to be born in the body that you’re in… you were given this, and you’re just trying to make the best out of a situation. It’s about being who you are and being comfortable with yourself.”

For more on Kenny’s story, watch the video above, and for more information visit: Interview with Kenny

Sandy Doran: Hypothyroidism


Thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland, which sits in the throat. In those with an underactive thyroid (also known as hypothyroidism) there isn’t enough thyroxine produced, which can cause a range of symptoms from fatigue to depression. Despite being diagnosed with both an underactive thyroid and type 1 diabetes as a teen, Sandy says it’s taken her 23 years to fully realise the effect her hormonal cycles can have on her conditions. She’s learnt that treatment discussions with medical professionals should always be two-way conversations.

“You’ve got to be an advocate for your own health, and you’ve got to feel empowered to ask questions and to challenge the information that you’re being given… we need to value dialogue in exploring what’s right for your body.”

For more on Sandy’s story, watch our chat with her above, and for more information on hyperthyroidism visit:

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/

https://beyondtype1.org/

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/

Amy Mabin, [34]: Miscarriage


After enduring two seemingly unexplainable miscarriages, Amy started researching hormone and gut health in an effort to prevent a third. After delving into resources like books and podcasts, she discovered she had several hormone deficiencies. Amy realised the symptoms of those deficiencies had long been present, but she’d never had the information required to identify what they meant. She says a support system has been invaluable in healing from the experience of miscarriage, and encourages those who have miscarried to share their experience with the people they feel comfortable with.

“Know by sharing with other women you’re not only helping yourself, but you might also be helping someone else who doesn’t have the courage to share. You’re not alone.”

For more from Amy, watch the video above, and for more support on miscarriage visit:

Hey Girl podcast

I had a miscarriage

Amy's article on Medium


More in the Real Stories Series:

ENDOMETRIOSIS, SUPPORT AND COMMUNITY

UNDERSTANDING YOU: HORMONE CHANGES, PMDD AND MENOPAUSE


Edited by Alice Wagstaffe, shot by Alida Bea, produced by Tara Scott 

Words by Rachel Ramsay 

TOTM