Frequently Asked Questions of 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.
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.
In the process of voice feminization, a multidisciplinary team is involved, in which the otolaryngologist and the specialized speech therapist collaborate closely.
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.
Once the surgery is performed, an absolute vocal rest of 15 days should be performed in order for the stitches to heal properly. From there, it begins to work with the specialized speech therapist to change the vocal gesture of the patient and thus, to consolidate what was achieved in the surgery. We usually recommend at least two speech therapy sessions a week for 3 months; this can vary depending on the person, their evolution, their schedules …
A stereotypically feminine voice, a high vocal tone and an apparently feminine vocal intonation and modulation.
From our experience, from the age of 70 we discourage this treatment, since changing theanatomy and the vocal behavior is more difficult.
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.