Do men need to stop when fathering a child?
This is an important question and I generally advise patients to review on a case by case basis with their physicians.
Finasteride is found in semen at very, very low concentrations. If it weren't found in semen, the issue would not even be an issue. But finasteride is found in semen at doses either undetectable to up to 21 ng/mL. Studies have shown these concentrations do not appear to harm a developing baby. Many men have fathered healthy children while using finasteride. At the present time, there is no evidence whatsoever that the children (either sons or daughters) of men taking finasteride have a higher risk of birth defects.
However, finasteride may lower sperm counts and cause temporary infertility in some men. Couples having difficulty conceiving need to be aware of the possibility that the man's use of finasteride could be problematic.
Amory J, Wang C, Swerdloff R, Anawalt B, Matsumoto A, Bremner W, Walker S, Haberer L, Clark R. The effect of 5a-reductase inhibition with dutasteride and finasteride on semen parameters and serum hormones in healthy men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92:1659–1665.
Lewis RW, Lieber MM, Hellstrom WJ, et al. The effect of finasteride on semen production and sexual function in normal males. J Urol. 1992;147:398A.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299