Question: Can you explain the dangers in taking Propecia and pregnancy. Does the man always have to wear a condom even if you are not having a family?
- The active ingredient in Propecia (finasteride 1mg – Propecia is one of many brand names the drug goes by) can cause abnormalities in an unborn child.
- Studies have not proven that Propecia has the same benefits for women with regards to hair loss, as it does for men.
As long as the man is not planning a family he does not need to use a condom while taking Propecia, provided some other method of contraception is being used. We advise those who are planning a family to cease use of Propecia one week prior to trying, since it takes 7 days for Propecia to leave the system.
Despite the fact that any residue from finasteride 1mg may be passed onto a woman through the semen, she will not be in any medical danger if she is not pregnant. Sometimes though, “accidents” happen, but the amount of finasteride present in the semen would be so small that it is still unlikely to affect the foetus. Provided there is no continued exposure – the man stops using Propecia for the duration of the pregnancy and the breastfeeding stage – there is little likelihood of abnormality. In fact there have been no documented incidents of abnormalities in such cases.
The reason why finasteride is harmful to unborn children, particularly in the male foetus, is due to the fact that it inhibits the creation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This biologically active hormonal metabolite is most essential during the development stages of the foetus and in the masculinisation process of boys during puberty.
During adult life, however, DHT – the by-product of testosterone – has little importance other than in the maintenance of sexual hair and having a causative role in acne, prostatic enlargement and genetic hair loss. This is why it is also illegal to issue finasteride 1mg to men under the age of 18.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.