QUESTION: HI DR. JONES, My question is concerning propecia and it’s effect on a pregnant women. I have heard that the medication can be passed to my partner during intercourse and that it has the potential to harm an unborn feotus. My girlfriend is on the pill and we are not using other protection. Do I need to worry about the chance that she might get pregnant and the effect the propecia will have on the baby ? What are the risks exactly to the child? Thanks, Rick
ANSWER: Hi Rick, thanks for your question. There is a very minimal amount of propecia that shows up in male ejaculate. The active ingredient in Propecia is finasteride, a drug containing finasterside was previously marketed as Proscar. In this newer drug Propecia, the dose has been lowered and the drug is not detectable in semen. It should not therefore have an effect on an unborn child. The worry is that the finasteride impairs development of reproductive organs but again the amount in Propecia is extremely low and no tests have proven this harmful effect.
However it is recommended still by health associations to use a condom if planning to conceive. I would say that it is good to be cautious. If you are planning to conceive you can go off of propecia for a few days Propecia has a half life of 24 hours, which means that half is out of your blood stream within 24 hours, 75% in 2 days, 87.5 in 3 days… So most is gone in 2 or 3 days. Going off propecia for 2-3 days when you plan to conceive would be the cautious solution and this will not have any large effect on your hair growth.