• What is voice feminization?
The objective of the voice feminization process is to achieve a higher vocal tone, that is, to pass from a voice perceived as stereotypically masculine to a voice perceived as stereotypically feminine; this is achieved by surgery, changing the anatomy of the larynx and postoperative speech therapy, to change the vocal gesture.
- How do you know if you are a candidate for the process of voice feminization?
After performing a thorough vocal examination, which includes: a perceptual exploration, aerodynamic exploration, strobe exploration of the laryngeal and an acoustic-spectographic exploration, we must take into account that the patient must have a fundamental frequency spoken below 150 Hz and that her anatomy, her airway, is large enough to be able to introduce the laryngoscope.
- Which specialists are involved in the process of feminizing the voice?
In the process of voice feminization, a multidisciplinary team is involved, in which the otolaryngologist and the specialized speech therapist collaborate closely.
- What is the best technique to achieve the feminization of voice?
After our years of experience we can say that our current method is the one that obtains the best result, fact that also is shaken by the official magazine of the American Academy of Otolaryngology among other scientific magazines. It consists of performing the surgery called Wendler Glotoplasty with personal modifications and specialized postoperative logopedia.
- How long does the feminization treatment of the voice last?
Once the surgery is performed, an absolute vocal rest of 15 days should be performed so that the stitches heal properly. From there, we begin to work with the specialized speech therapist to change the patient’s vocal gesture and thus, strengthen what was achieved in the surgery. We usually recommend at least two speech therapy sessions a week for 3 months; This may vary depending on the person, their evolution, their schedules …
- What results can we expect from the treatment of voice feminization?
A stereotypically feminine voice, a high vocal tone and an apparently feminine vocal intonation and modulation.
- Is there an age limit for performing the voice feminization treatment?
From our experience, from the age of 65 we discourage this treatment, since changing the anatomy and the vocal behavior is more difficult.
- Are speech therapy sessions enough to feminize the voice?
Almost all transgender women attending our clinic have had speech therapy sessions in which they have learned to alter their vocal tone on a daily basis and in many cases have felt embarrassed or frustrated if their voice returns to the original tone because of their own vocal fatigue or during physiologically human reactions such as laughter, cough, yawning, sneezing, etc.
We believe that ideally, her voice would naturally have a high vocal tone without having to think about how to make it more sterotically feminine in each phonation, without having to be imitating it permanently. Once the larynx of the transgender woman has been surgically transformed into an anatomically feminine larynx, and consequently, the vocal tone has risen, vocal therapy will secure this definitive change if one has to worry or concentrate before each phonation.
Nonetheless, transgender women also come to our clinic which, once we have performed the different laryngoscopic, speech and acoustic studies, have a vocal tone high enough not to be susceptible to any type of surgery and only with vocal therapy the desired vocal tone.