Finasteride, starting a family, and most importantly, the FACTS!
I’ve had an increasing number of enquiries of late, asking me whether finasteride will affect a man’s chances of reproducing, or even cause impotency. I have been surprised by this sudden interest in a drug that has been used as a treatment for hair loss for almost 15 years. And whilst I’ve not paid too much attention to what’s been said of late, I do feel I must respond to recent comments made by Chris Evans.
Whilst discussing his hair loss with Elton John on BBC 2’s breakfast show, Chris stated he would not be taking the finasteride, believing it would hinder his chances at reproducing, so he could concentrate on starting on a family.
I would imagine that this may have caused concern with many of his listeners, it certainly has with me. I am not aware of any published reports that implicate finasteride in decreasing a man’s chances at reproducing. Scientifically it does not make sense either as finasteride blocks DHT, which is not responsible for fertility. However, in some people you can get decreased semen i.e. decreased volume of ejaculate, which is not the same as say a low sperm count or impotency.
Tests have proved that at the dosage recommended for hair loss, finasteride will not be present in sufficient amounts in your semen to pose a problem planning for a child. This was an issue though at the prostate dose, which is five times the hair dose.
Finasteride has, in a small number of cases, resulted in a decreased libido, yet even in those circumstances, the issue has been resolved by reducing the dosage.
Conceiving a child can be stressful for many people, and it probably won’t be helped if taking finasteride is going to cause you significant worry. If you are contemplating stopping finasteride for any reason, I would recommend adding minoxidil lotion or foam to your regimen for about three months and then stop the finasteride. With minoxidil, you will have the chance to continue arresting your hair loss but you may lose any bulking effect the finasteride might be having. The overlapping is important so that you can begin to experience the benefits of minoxidil before losing those of finasteride.
It’s worrying to see misinformation in the media, particularly when the wrong information seems to spread farther and faster than the facts!
Dr Bessam Farjo