The fight to stop hair loss could have an impact on having a baby. A study published in the March 2011 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that one of the active ingredients found in popular medications to treat hair loss appears to produce persistent erectile dysfunction (ED), depression, and loss of libido, even after the medication has been discontinued.
To reach these findings, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine examined various clinical studies concerning the side effects of the 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, labeled as finasteride in hair loss medications. (5 alpha reductase inhibitors prevent testosterone from converting into other hormones that cause hair loss.) Researchers note that drug-related reduction in libido occurred in 4.2 percent of patients. Reduced ejaculation and semen volume were also reported by men and in some patients, and these drugs were also associated with depression.
"For these reasons, patients, and doctors are urged to discuss these issues openly and candidly and assess the risk benefit ratio prior to commencing therapy with 5a-reductase inhibitors," says study author Dr. Abdulmaged M. Traish of Boston University School of Medicine.
Does your guy need to make a choice between a baby or baldness? The growing use of 5 alpha reductase inhibitors is cause for concern, according to men's sexual health experts. "Young men are being prescribed 5 alpha reductase inhibitors as hair loss treatments that may negatively impact their sexual life, possibly for a prolonged time after stopping the medication," Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, writes.
While more research is needed to better understand the basis for these drug-associated side effects, your guy may be better off going with a hair loss remedy that does not contain finasteride. When your guy has a preconception health check, he should let his provider known all medications he is currently taking, including medicated treatments for hair loss.