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Laryngoscope. 2014 Jun;124(6):1409-14. doi: 10.1002/lary.24480. Epub 2013 Dec 9.

Voice in female-to-male transsexual persons after long-term androgen therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:

The aim of the present study was to 1) document voice in a large sample of female-to-male transsexual persons (FMT), 2) compare their vocal characteristics with those of heterosexual biological males, and 3) determine hormonal factors with impact on their fundamental frequency.

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a controlled cross-sectional study. It is the largest study to date on voice and voice change in FMT, and the first to include a control group and FMT who were under long-term androgen administration.

METHODS:

Thirty-eight FMT, ranging in age between 22 and 54 years, and 38 controls, frequency matched by age and smoking behavior, underwent a voice assessment that comprised the determination of pitch, intonation, and perturbation parameters measured during sustained vowel production, counting, and reading. Hormonal factors explored were hematocrit, total testosterone level, luteinizing hormone level, and biallelic mean length of the cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) trinucleotide repeat sequence in the androgen receptor gene.

RESULTS:

It was found that the FMT as a group did not differ significantly from controls for any of the acoustic voice variables studied. However, in about 10% pitch lowering was not totally unproblematic. The lowest-pitched (i.e., more male) voices were observed in FMT with higher hematocrit and longer CAG repeats.

CONCLUSION:

After long-term androgen therapy, FMT generally demonstrate an acceptable male voice. Pitch-lowering difficulties can be expected in about 10% of cases and appear, at least in part, to be associated with diminished androgen sensitivity.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

3b.

KEYWORDS:

Transsexualism; female-to-male; hormonal factors; voice

PMID:
24155064
DOI:
10.1002/lary.24480
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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