I haven’t talked about this in a few months and several hundred followers, but since today is National Period Day, it’s a good day to bring it up.

First of all, not only women have periods. Trans people with ovaries menstruate, regardless of if they are non-binary or male, and it can even continue to happen while on testosterone. It is not appropriate to refer to menstruation as a woman’s only issue.

That said, you do not have to have a uterus or ovaries to experience period symptoms. If your body runs on estrogen, your brain tries to cycle. It sends all the same signals regardless of if there are organs there to receive them. Women who have had hysterectomies get them. Women who take HRT post-menopause get them. And yes, many trans women get them too.

Depression, severe dysmorphia, mood swings, messy bowel movements, acne, intestinal cramping, and even abdominal cramping are all common symptoms that manifest on a 28-32 day cycle. I also experience a fertility window two weeks after the start of my cycle when my brain is trying to ovulate and I get super needy and horny. I also experience PMS. All of this is despite my medication keeping my hormone levels very smooth.

Conventional understanding of these processes has historically been based on correlations witnessed entirely in young cos women with healthy reproductive systems. There has not been nearly enough research of this phenomenon in women on bioidentical hormone therapy.

If you would like to know more about this, go read my Cycle Dynamics post.