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Maura Lavena Gallagher [userpic]
M-F Hormone Regimen
by Maura Lavena Gallagher (minding_maura)
at September 25th, 2006 (08:39 am)

Location: Philadelphia
Mood: cheerful
Music: Crosby Still Nash & Young

I read here several posts from people wondering if their regimen is correct and this is a little scary in that it sounds like a bit of self-directed instead of self-involved. It's so critical that a trained physician is involved in the regimen and follow up testing and adjustments. Blood clots and liver damage are a HUGE concern. Let me say here that I am not by any stretch a doctor or medically trained - ever. What I have done is tons of research and lots of discussion with my doctors. My regimen is not their standard but one that was arrived at after asking tons of questions and not being afraid to ask for something with solid evidence of it's safety and track records gathered from the internet from reliable and well known sources.

The ideal and safest method is intra muscular injection but many physicians won't recommend it because they are afraid that the injections won't be done properly. But if you can demonstrate that you will be trustworthy to do it properly every time and you are shown how to do it properly by the doctor or their nursing staff then you have a good chance at getting it. There are several reasons for this method:

1. It is by far the safest in that it is not first passed through the liver.
2. It is by far the most effective
3. You aren't putting stabilizers and other preservatives, emulsifiers, etc. into your body.

This is what I am taking now:

* Estradiol Valerate 40mg/ml (generic Delestrogen) @ a dosage of 0.5cc per week. The estradiol is in castor oil.
* Real Progesterone 50mg/ml @ a dosage of 0.25cc per 72 hours. The progesterone is in sesame oil.
* Spironolactone 50mg tablets (generic Aldactone) @ a dosage of 1 per 12 hours.
* Fincar 5mg (generic Proscar 5mg) which is finesteride 5mg @ a dosage of 1 per day in the morning.

The injections started out in the butt which was a real hassle for me until I found that you get the same results by injecting into the thigh muscle. No pain at all - ever. You are supplied with a syringe with an 18 gauge needle for drawing the liquid out of the 10ml vials, then you change to a much smaller 22 gauge 1.5 inch needle for the injection. This way the needle used to inject with is not dulled and remains completely sterile at all times. The process is simple:

1. wipe top of vial lightly with alcohol swab, then wipe area to inject.
2. open the syringe with the 18g needle attached and draw out liquid from vial.
3. re-cap needle carefully and remove from syringe
4. open 22g needle and attach to the syringe (do not touch it, keep it sterile.
5. tap the syring to get air collected at top while holding with needle facing up.
6. depress until air and a little liquid comes out of needle
7. pinch area to inject and steadily insert needle all the way into muscle
8. draw it back a little to make sure you don't draw blood into the syringe - done to make sure you haven't hit an artery which is very rare by the way.
9. depress top injecting fluid into muscle and keep syring in for a moment after injecting - i usually count to ten (this keeps the liquid from leaking back out with the withdrawing of the needle.
10. massage area to spread the liquid through the muscle for about 30 seconds is all. All done - Take Maybe 2 minutes. Alternate spots with each injection.

One more note: Don't expect to get these at any regular pharmacy. The Estradiol Valerate and Progesterone are custom compounded at a specialized compounding pharmacy. Your doctor will contact them and then send the prescriptions directly to them via fax. From the time I order it I have it in 3 days.

The best part is the cost:

Estradiol Valerate 10ml vial last about 2.5 months and costs $34.95 incl. the syringes, etc.
Progesterone 10ml vial lasts about 1.5 months and costs 28.95 incl. the syringes, etc.

The Fincar is not available in the US so you need to use an overseas pharmacy for that but it is the real thing from a very reliable pharmaceutical company in India. There are lots of pharmacy resources for it and it costs a lot less than the Proscar available here in the US.


Posted by: aki_no_kaze (aki_no_kaze)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)

I wish I could get on injectables, but the supplyer my endo used stopped supplying it just before I started.

Posted by: Normal...for us... (jjblue)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
thigh injections

There are a lot of transguys who inject into the thigh (or have their thighs injected by professionals) and have pain/tenderness/bruising afterwards. It's not a no pain ever solution. Easier than the buttocks, but not necessarily painless.

Posted by: aki_no_kaze (aki_no_kaze)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
Re: thigh injections

is it related to the size or use of the muscle? Im a regular cyclist (42km a day, every day) and if injections caused leg pain based on size or use then they are right out.

Posted by: Eric (keeponsmilin505)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: thigh injections

If anything, it would be less painful the more exercise you get. I personally have found that injections in the butt are less painful than in the thigh, but it varies.

Posted by: aki_no_kaze (aki_no_kaze)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
Re: thigh injections

thanks for the info :)

Posted by: Maura Lavena Gallagher (minding_maura)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Re: thigh injections

The problems I had with the butt was as I altered sides it was too hard to do left handed, and even with the right hand, twisting the wrist to get a solid plunge without shifting the needle around inside the muscle was a hassle. Less bleeding and leakage of the injected fluid too.

Posted by: Maura Lavena Gallagher (minding_maura)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
Re: thigh injections

The problem is in the tightness of the muscle when you insert and while you keep the needle in. Yes, a very little bit of tenderness can occur but goes away soon after - but the key is to really relax the leg and muscle and keep it that way while the needle is in and being pulled out. Pinching the skin where you going to inject and inserting at the top of the pinch, then once bottomed on the skin slowly releasing the pinch to gain the greatest depth will help also.

Posted by: dark & twisty is my middle name (eternal_saudade)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)

Just wanted to say it's very cool of you to post that. :) That's exactly how I learned to self inject, only with T instead of female hormones... although I'd warn everyone of the SEERING PAIN in my leg (injected in the thigh) for the last few days. But it was only my first shot, so I suspect that it gets easier.

Posted by: Jacqueline R Nugent (jaquiregina)
Posted at: September 26th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC)
Specialized Compounding Pharmacy

I would be interested to know which pharmacy you use. I get my Estradiol from the local COSTCO Pharmacy and it cost me about $150 for 5 ml. Thanks.

Posted by: Maura Lavena Gallagher (minding_maura)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Specialized Compounding Pharmacy

See my blog for all my pharmacy resources - well described there.

Posted by: Haily (haily_is_alive)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)

Estrace, which is estrodial, is not processed by the liver before entering the bloodstream. Plus, you don't get the peaks and troughs that injections will give you. As for effectiveness, there is no proof that injectibles are better than pills.

Posted by: Maura Lavena Gallagher (minding_maura)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)

First, if that's your picture I hope I can look as good as you do there. From what I understand, unless its a gel that dissolves under the tongue and has very rapid absorption qualities, every thing entering the stomach will be processed by the liver. Granted I'm not a medical person at all, but my information comes from my endocrinologist, my physician and my lab friends at the university hospital labs here in Philly.

Posted by: Haily (haily_is_alive)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)

I’ll have to ask my doc about that, (he’s a trans specialist), not that I don’t believe you. It’s just from what I understand, estrodial does pass through the liver, but because it’s already in an estrodial form, the liver does not have to convert it into estrodial, which is the process with other estrogens.

As for the picture, it really is me. You can see more in the photographic timeline of my life in my LJ journal.

Here’s a link for convenience.


Posted by: Haily (haily_is_alive)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)

Oh, and India is one of the biggest manufacturers of fake drugs. You should try Canadian pharmacies as we have laws that prevent drug companies from gouging us to recover R&D costs.

Posted by: Maura Lavena Gallagher (minding_maura)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)

that's why I stated a "reputable pharmaceutical manufacturer" in India. I have several friends who are physicians in Europe and they are quite familiar with Fincar and the manufacturer.

Posted by: Haily (haily_is_alive)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC)

I wasn’t insinuating that you hadn’t done your homework. I just wanted to make it clear that India is known for the counterfeit drug trade and the only way to tell if any drugs from these areas are what they claim to be is by chemical analysis of the ingredients. It’s been shown that some drugs have absolutely none of the medicinal ingredients while others only have fractions of what they should. Some countries don’t test the products they get from other countries so even the medical professionals can’t be certain.

Here’s a link.


Oh, and to dispel any thought that North America is any better, the US and Canada also manufacture counterfeit drugs.

Posted by: Maura Lavena Gallagher (minding_maura)
Posted at: September 28th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)

I never took it as you insinuating anything. I appreciate all comments and especially advice like that. There are many more people than myself that benefit from it.

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