Nearly four years after YouTuber Jamie Raines started taking testosterone in order to transition from female to male, he was faced with something unexpected — getting his period again.
Raines, who frequently opens up about his experiences as a transgender man on his YouTube channel, had recently changed the type of testosterone he was on. While it's always possible that changes in hormone would affect a person's body, it was still a surprise when he realised that his period came again for the first time in years.
"My heart just dropped, and I started feeling panicky," he says in a video about the experience. "I was completely frozen on the toilet."
Raines explains that he switched from the testosterone Nebido to Testogel because he had been experiencing high T levels on Nebido.
When he saw that his period had come, Raines says, he was frozen — after going for years without having a period, he had "kind of forgotten that my body could still technically do that."
"I had no symptoms in the build-up to this happening, so it came as a complete shock," he says.
After the first day, he said, he was able to snap out of the "horrible feeling" that had washed over him. Since then, he's gotten a few more periods, despite having his Testogel levels tested and having them read as "perfectly in the normal range."
Raines tells Refinery29 that he had first got his period again in November.
"It took me a few months to have the idea that it might be a good topic to talk about, and then another couple of months to feel ready to talk about it," he said.
Aside from the physical changes he had to get accustomed to, Raines also had to reconcile what getting his period meant for him has a transgender man.
“I worked hard to not let it affect me in a negatively way [...] It didn’t make me any less of a man,” he says in the video. Once he realized that, dealing with it became a whole lot easier, even if it was still a jarring experience.
While Raines says that his situation was very specific, it draws more attention to the fact that men can get periods — and it's time we start discussing it more often. Since he uploaded his video last week, several people have commented to say that they've gone through the same thing, and thanked him for his openness.
"As a closeted trans man... that time of month... is definitely a struggle, I'm glad you were able to get through that so well,' one person wrote.
"It's definitely been very uplifting to see the positive responses and how many people are finding it useful," Raines said.
He also closes out the video with a message for anyone who's transitioning: "Just remember that whatever stage of transition you’re in, you can get through it. It won’t last forever and it does not at all affect who you are."