Jump to content

propecia and children


Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Hi Everyone,


So as a right now I am not taking propecia but because it has proven to work I am consider taking it since I am right now more of NW2. The issue of course are the side effects that some people experience, one question I have is did anyone have children while on propecia. I am single as of now but of course would like to have children down the line and wondering what effects it can have on that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Senior Member

I personally would not take finasteride while attempting to have children, but then again I havent tried it since I myself is single.


I think it's not worth the risk, it's your biological child!


My thinking is ==>


Get off the drug, lose a little hair, and have a healthy child




Stay on the drug to keep your hair, and have a "slight possibility" of having complications with your kid (autism? you never know.)


Just imagine if you were to have a child and there were issues, while you may never be able to prove that it was Finasteride that caused it, I'm sure you'll be thinking "did finasteride cause this to my kid?" for the rest of your life.


pros and cons...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member


I have discontinued the use of finasteride to conceive a child for 6 months. Now I have 2 kids and I am taking finasteride again. 3 years ago I sent an email to Dr. Richard Lee asking his opinion. Here is is answer:



"Hello. I am 29 yeas old and I have used propecia and Dr Lee 5% minoxidil solutions since 2001 with good results. I plan to have a child and i would like to know if i have to discontinue the use of these products."



"You do not have to discontinue any of them."



"On your website (http://www.minoxidil.com) you say that it is recommended that its use be discontinued two weeks prior to procreative sex. The only side effect i have reported is a decrease in ejaculate volume (not in libido). My sex life has not changed at all. But i have already read on the net that the use of finasteride should be discontinued 3 months (or 6 months) prior to procreative sex. Can you please help me?"



Read the attached article that I wrote recently




There are very few more anxiety provoking times in anyone's life than possibly causing a birth defect in one's own unborn child. So, it's quite understandable that the mention of a possible birth defect with the use of finasteride (Propecia 1mg and Proscar 5mg, Merck) would cause considerable anxiety and concern. The package insert for Proscar states under the section on Contraindications: 'Because of the ability of Type II 5alpha reductase inhibitors to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT, finasteride may cause abnormalities of the external genitalia of a male fetus of a pregnant woman who receives finasteride'. So, is the risk real? Theoretically, yes. Practically, no.


The specific birth defect that can be caused by the absence or inhibition of the Type II 5-alpha reductase enzyme in the male embryo is hypospadias. Hypospadias is a birth defect in which the urinary tract opening is on the ventral surface (under side) of the penis rather than at the tip of the penis. There have never been congenital abnormalities observed in female fetuses at any dosage of finasteride.


During the research and development phase of finasteride, studies were done on experimental animals. Rats, rabbits, and rhesus monkeys were given finasteride to determine its relationship to birth defects, i.e. hypospadias.


Hypospadias did occur in the male offspring, when pregnant rats were administered finasteride equivalent to 5-5000 times the amount of recommended for men in treating MPB (1mg/daily). The critical period during which these effects can be induced in male rats was determined to be during the 16th ??“17th days of gestation.


In rabbit fetuses exposed to finasteride in utero from days 6-18 of gestation at doses equivalent to 5000 times the recommended human dosage, no evidence of malformations was observed. This result would be expected, since there was no exposure during the critical period of genital system development in rabbits.


When pregnant rhesus monkeys were given intravenous finasteride at a level equivalent to at least 750 times the highest estimated exposure of pregnant women to finasteride from semen of men taking 1mg/day, there were no genital abnormalities observed.


In the human embryo, the sensitive period of external genitalia development is during the 7th - 9th weeks of gestation. Although the chromosomal and genetic sex of an embryo is determined at fertilization by the kind of sperm, either Y-bearing or X-bearing, that fertilizes the ovum, male and female morphological characteristics do not begin to develop until the seventh week. Prior to this time, the genital systems of the two sexes are similar, and the initial period of genital development is referred to as the 'indifferent state of sexual development'. About six weeks after conception, if a Y chromosome is present in the embryo's cells (as it is in normal males), a gene on the chromosome directs the undifferentiated gonads to become testes. If the Y chromosome is not present (as in normal females), the undifferentiated gonads will become ovaries. If the gonads become testes, they begin to produce androgens, primarily testosterone, by about eight weeks after conception. These androgens stimulate development of the one set of the genital ducts into the epididymes, vas deferens, and ejaculatory duct. The presence of androgens also stimulates development of the penis and the scrotum. Hypospadias can result if there is inadequate production of androgens by the fetal testes.


Since the sensitive period of development of the external genitalia in the human embryo is the 7th to 9th weeks of gestation, there can be no danger to the child if the father is taking finasteride at the time of conception. Originally, Merck decided to err on the side of caution and warned against the possible problem of finasteride transfer in semen. This warning has since been removed from the package insert. Considering the medical/legal implications of a theoretically possible link of finasteride treatment to birth defects, it is reasonable to assume that Merck & Co. must be very confident in knowing that impregnating a woman while taking finasteride absolutely does not cause birth defects.


Nor is there any evidence of birth defects when the father taking finasteride has intercourse with the pregnant mother during the critical periods of sexual development. The in utero effects of finasteride exposure during the period of embryonic and fetal development (gestation days 20-100) were evaluated in the rhesus monkey, a species fairly predictive of human development. Intravenous administration of finasteride to pregnant monkeys at doses as high as 800ng/day (at least 60 to 120 times the highest estimated exposure of pregnant women to finasteride from semen of men taking 5mg/day) caused no abnormalities in male fetuses.


Still, Merck retains this admonition: 'Women should not handle crushed or broken Propecia tablets when they are pregnant or may be potentially pregnant because of the possibility of absorption of finasteride and the subsequent potential risk to a male fetus. Propecia tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets have not been broken or crushed.'


Considering that intravenous administration of finasteride to pregnant experimental animals during the critical periods of sexual development didn't cause birth defects, there is no reason to believe that transdermal absorption of finasteride from handling broken tablets could cause birth defects in the male child. But, since Propecia has not been approved by the FDA for use by women, Merck has nothing to lose by retaining this warning. In fact, it has good p.r. value.


So, can finasteride cause birth defects? Yes, there is a theoretical possibility that it can, but the probability is close to nil, when finasteride is taken in the recommended dosages. Since Propecia was approved by the FDA on 22 December 1997 and Proscar on 28 August 1996, millions of doses of finasteride have been taken and there has not been a single case report of a birth defect. Now that's reassuring information.


Richard Lee, M.D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...