What does female to male (FTM) mean?


There are a variety of terms for female to male; this means someone born in a female body that identifies their gender as male. Other terms for this are: F2M, FTM, female-to-male, transgender, transmen or F to M. It generally describes female to male transsexuals. People elect to express gender identify variously by cross-dressing, or by taking hormones or choosing to have surgery.


How many transgender, female to male people are there?


Unfortunately, there are no hard statistics kept on the number of FTM people. However, at Michigan State University, the Alliance of Les-Bi-Gay Transgender Students offers the following statistics, although acknowledging that they are likely incomplete. How many transgenderists are out there?


“The estimated ratio of MTF transsexuals to genetic males is between 1:2000 and 1:80,000. The estimated ratio of FTM transsexuals to genetic females is between 1:2000 and 1:125,000…


There are numerous other unverified statistics floating around in the world, such as:


* Less than 1% of all people saying they are transsexual ever have SRS

* 7-12,000 sex changes have been performed in the US, half of them MTF

* There are 4 times as many MTF transsexuals in Europe as there are in America”


What does the term SRS mean?


This is an abbreviation for Sex Reassignment Surgery; it is also sometimes called gender or sex reassignment surgery or SRS. This latter term is a blanket category for all the various, possible surgical procedures in SRS: chest surgery, genital reconstruction surgery, hysterectomy, vaginectomy, oophorectomy and metoidioplasty.


What do SRS surgeries involve for becoming a Female to Male?


This really depends on patient needs, desires and physical condition. Those who choose sexual reassignment surgery can undergo any of a series of surgeries: breast removal, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, vaginectomy and metoidioplasty.


Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, vaginectomy removes of the vagina and oophorectomy is the removal of the ovaries. Metoidioplasty creates a small penis from existing tissue which allows the patient to have sexual function and to urinate while standing. In this operation, connective tissue holding the clitoris is released to increase its length. Existing tissue is fashioned into a tube attached to the urethra. Results are often two to three inches in length, and sensitivity remains excellent. (This is sometime deemed preferable to the numerous surgical procedures necessary for phalloplasty, the creation of a penis through extensive skin grafts from the forearm, abdomen or thigh. This also has the disadvantage of not having normal penile function and lacking the nerve distribution, sensitivity and responsiveness of the metoidioplasty).

Dr. Webb specializes in laparoscopic hysterectomy, vaginectomy.


What are the non-surgical options?


Many FTM people choose to cross-dress and/or to take male hormones. The use of testosterone creates a greater impression of masculinity: the hormone lowers the timbre of the voice, increases facial and body hair, increases the sex drive and ends menstruation. One side effect can be male pattern baldness.


What procedures are necessary before FTM surgery?


The patient has followed the guidelines in the Harry Benjamin Gender Identity Disorder Standards of Care (HBGIDSOC) and also has a written referral for SRS by a doctor, psychiatrist, psychiatric social worker, clinical psychologist, or endocrinologist who is a professionally qualified specialist in the field of gender dysphoria or dysmorphia. For more information, please visit the “World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).


These standards are to ensure, as much as humanly possible, a positive transition from the surgery to the new life. Dr. Harry Benjamin devised these standards at a conference to determine who was mentally and emotionally able to benefit from sex reassignment surgery.


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