Millions of men have taken Propecia to treat symptoms of male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, more and more are reporting genital shrinkage as one serious side effect.
Propecia (finasteride) is a prescription medication used to treat male-pattern baldness. 50% of men have a genetic predisposition to lose their hair when exposed to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Propecia works by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts the male sex hormone testosterone into DHT. When a man is taking Propecia, DHT levels drop by 75-80%. This is a massive hormonal change. To compensate, estrogen levels rise. In some men, this can cause severe sexual side effects, including erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, decreased semen volume, gynecomastia (growth of male breast tissue), and more. Many men are reporting that they have also suffered genital shrinkage after taking finasteride.
Genital shrinkage refers to a loss of tissue in the penis, testes, or both. Genital tissue in a man is filled with hormone receptors, and male hormones are necessary for health penile tissue. Because finasteride blocks these hormones, it can have serious negative effects on the health of a man’s penis. Genital shrinkage is one of the most psychologically distressing side effects of Propecia.
Damage to a man’s penis and testicles can have serious adverse effects on his well-being. Complications of genital shrinkage may include depression, loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, social anxiety, psychological distress, and more. Physically, a smaller penis can cause urinary tract disorders and problems during sexual intercourse.
Scientific Studies of Finasteride and Genital Shrinkage
The Examiner reports that the Journal of Sexual Medicine will soon publish a study from Dr. Michael Irwig called “Effects of Oral Finasteride on Erectile Function in a Rat Model,” regarding the link between finasteride and genital shrinkage. Dr. Irwig previously published a study of persistent Propecia side effects from information gathered on an online forum for men who were suffering Propecia side effects, including genital shrinkage. He was one of the first to report the widespread persistence of Propecia side effects.
In the forthcoming study, Dr. Irwig found that rats who had been treated with finasteride for four weeks showed a 25% reduction in the weight of their penis. Dr. Irwig reported that the findings were consistent with reports he had received from men who said they had suffered genital shrinkage after taking Propecia.