5 Things You Need to Know Before Undergoing an Orchiectomy for MTF transition

Orchiectomy is the surgical removal of testicles. It’s a common procedure for transitioning men who are transitioning to women, as well as transgender and non-binary individuals who are removing the male anatomy. While this process may seem scary at first, it’s actually a straightforward procedure that has several benefits. Here are 5 things you need to know before undergoing an orchiectomy as part of your MTF transition.

What is an Orchiectomy?

Orchiectomy is an operation to remove the testicles. The operation is also sometimes called “orchidectomy” or “orchectomy.” The testicles are removed through an incision made in the scrotum, followed by a (usually simple) removal of the testicles. The scrotum and the skin between the scrotum and the anus are then stitched up. Hormone therapy, especially with estrogen, can cause the scrotum to swell, become tender, and cause pain. An orchiectomy can help relieve these symptoms and make it easier to fit into women’s clothing because there is less bulk in the crotch area.

How is an Orchiectomy Performed?

In order to perform an orchiectomy the doctor will make a small incision in the scrotum, either on the side or the front. The doctor will then remove the testicles and secure the incision. Orchiectomy is often performed under general anesthesia. In this scenario, you will receive an injection to make you fall asleep and remain unconscious throughout the operation. Alternatively, orchiectomy can be performed under local anesthesia, in which case you will be awake but will have no feeling in your scrotum. The latter option is not advised for people who are at a high risk of fainting, which includes anyone who has a history of seizures or dizzy spells.

Benefits of an Orchiectomy for MTF Trans People

The benefits of an orchiectomy for MTF trans people are numerous. For one, it is a very common procedure with a low complication rate, so the risk of something going wrong is relatively small. The procedure also has a quick recovery time, and most patients can go back to work within a week. In fact, an orchiectomy can be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day. Orchiectomy also has an impact on hormone levels. It is often prescribed along with hormone therapy in order to reduce the levels of testosterone in the body. This can help patients who wish to reduce their body hair, develop breasts, and stop menstruating. Orchiectomy is usually covered by health insurance and is relatively inexpensive.

Disadvantages of an Orchiectomy for MTF Trans People

While orchiectomy is largely considered safe and effective, it does have some drawbacks for MTF trans people. For one, it is irreversible. Once the testicles have been removed, it is not possible to get them back. Therefore, it is important to be absolutely sure that you want to transition to female before going through with an orchiectomy. Additionally, orchiectomy can have an impact on your sex life. For instance, it can impact your ability to orgasm, as a lot of pleasure is generated through the scrotum. Orchiectomy can also have an impact on bone health. Testosterone is important for bone health, and when its levels are reduced, bone health can be negatively impacted. Therefore, it is important to take calcium supplements after an orchiectomy. Orchiectomy can cause some people to experience a slightly lowered energy level, though this is not something that happens to everyone who has it.

Recovery Time After an Orchiectomy for MTF People

The majority of MTF people who undergo an orchiectomy recover within about two weeks. During this time, it is advised to wear a scrotal support (like an athletic cup) to speed up the healing process and to protect the incision site. You will also want to be careful not to raise your hands above your head during this time, as this can increase the risk of infection. It is also recommended to avoid strenuous exercise for a few weeks.

Final Words

Orchiectomy is a quick and straightforward procedure that has a number of benefits for trans people. For instance, it can help reduce the levels of testosterone in the body, which can affect a variety of things like the amount of body hair you have, your ability to orgasm, and the rate at which you grow breasts. It can also help reduce the size of the scrotum, which can make it easier to fit into women’s clothing. Orchiectomy is usually a safe and effective procedure, but it is important to understand the risks and know what to expect before going through with the procedure.

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