Status Plus




Influence of 5a-reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) usage on the reproductive function of married men

Song, S1; Kim, DS1; Shim, SH1

1: CHA Gangnam Medical Center, Korea, South

Objective: Finasteride is a 5a−reductase inhibitor that blocks the conversion of testosterone (T) to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and has been has been approved to treat androgenic alopecia. There have been concerns about the potential negative effects of this hormonal agent on male reproductive function. Androgens are well known to play a vital role in the control of spermatogenesis. We investigated the effect of finasteride usage on the reproduction function in male partners of married couples.

Material and Method: We compared the reproductive function between those who takes finasteride more than 6 months and no medication group, who visited our andrology center for fertility evaluation. Each group consisted of 27 cases. In addition to basic fertility evaluation, semen and reproductive hormone data were compared between two groups. Semen samples were collected with abstinence period of more than 48 hours. Patients with varicocele, previous scrotal surgery, underlying medical disease were excluded.

Result: The mean patient age was 37 years (range: 30−51 years). All of the study group was taking low−dose (1−1.25 mg) finasteride for androgenic alopecia. The mean duration of treatment with finasteride was 33.6 months (range: 6–120 months). There was no significant difference between two groups in regards to semen parameters. (semen volume: 2.07 ± 1.16 vs 2.53 ± 0.96 ml, p= 0.12; sperm concentration: 112.74 ± 78.60ⅹ106/ml vs 84.93 ± 43.10ⅹ106/ml, p=0.11; sperm motility: 42.30 ± 11.10% vs 45.93 ± 9.98%, p=0.21; sperm strict morphology: 4.19 ± 1.10% vs 4.41 ± 1.22%, p=0.50, respectively). There was no significant difference in regards to serum reproductive hormonal level between groups. One patient complained of weak ejaculation and reduced semen volume while taking finasteride.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that low dose finasteride does not have a negative effect in regards to male reproductive function. However, further large scale investigation is warranted.


Work supported by industry: no.

Go Back