Characteristics of hormone use by travestis and transgender women of the Brazilian Federal District

Rev Bras Epidemiol. 2019 Sep 26;22Suppl 1(Suppl 1):e190004. doi: 10.1590/1980-549720190004.supl.1. eCollection 2019.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Introduction: Travestis and transgender women resort to the use of hormones for body modification. Due to restrictions in the access to health services, self-medication is frequent. The aim of this study was to describe the self-reported prevalence of hormones used by travestis and transgender women in the Federal District. Method: This is a cross-sectional study with Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) and Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices questionnaire (KAP) along with travestis and transgender women over 18 years in the FD. Prevalence was calculated using the RDS-II estimator. Logistic models were used to investigate the associated factors. A total of 201 volunteers participated.

Results: There was a young sample (median age of 24 years). The overall prevalence of continuous use of hormones was 64.5%. The most used formulation was the combination of estrogen and progesterone (86.2%) by injectable (75.1%) and oral (66%) administration. Most participants (84%) got the hormones without a prescription. Guidance on the use of these hormones came from their peers in 41% of the cases. We observed that the continuous use of hormones is associated with race, income and age, as well as the search for guidance of healthcare professionals, which is also associated with schooling.

Discussion: The reality of the process of hormone use by these people in the quest for femininity is reflected in high rates of self-medication.

Conclusion: This study contributes to the visibility of the need to improve the access conditions of these people to health services.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Medication / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Report
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Transgender Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Transvestism* / ethnology
  • Young Adult


  • Hormones