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Voice and transgender

Here you may find information about voice adjustments during your transgender transition process.

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Here you will find our CHARITÉ-FAQs Voice and Transgender

Voice and Transgender

The correct allocation of transgenders to their desired sex is important for an unimpaired self-fulfillment. Insofar, it is not so much the voice sound itself but its perception by others, which may be problematic: "Because my voice is perceived as rather male by others, I might feel uncomfortable."

The resolution of this conflict should involve support on different levels: on the one hand, the psychological level which can be adressed by means of psychotherapy, on the other hand the level of the technique of voice production, which can be influenced by voice therapy or pitch raising surgery.

 

Therapeutic aspects and surgical techniques

Treatment usually begins with speech therapy. This can be prescribed, for example, by your ENT physician or phoniatrist at the expense of the statutory health insurance.

Should the voice adjustment prove insufficient for your individual needs after voice therapy, surgical options can be considered after individual consultation.

The voice feminization procedures performed at our clinic are:

  • Web-Glottoplasty according to Prof. Wendler
  • Crico-thyroid approximation (thyroplasty type IV according to Isshiki)
  • LASER-assisted thinning of the vocal folds

Testosterone substitution often results in sufficient voice lowering in trans*men by thickening of the vocal fold muscle and an associated increase in volume of the vocal folds.

Conversely, in male-to-female transition, voice alignment is often a major challenge. Therapeutically, it is necessary to reconcile the individual demands on vocal performance, the degree of voice feminization with possible risks of surgical procedures. Since the experience is best with glottoplasty in this regard, this is usually the method of choice at the Charité.

 

 

 

Clinical example: Glottoplasty

Laryngoscopy before surgery
Laryngoscopy 6 months after surgery
Voice recording before surgery
Voice recording 6 months after surgery

What else is important for a successful treatment?

  • good support by an experienced vocal therapist with specialization in voice feminization
  • realistic expectations: a perfectly feminine sounding voice is not always achievable even by exhaustion of all therapeutical possibilities