Finasteride Chemical Structure

Does Finasteride Lower Testosterone? The Truth Behind the Myth

If you are a man experiencing hair loss or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) you might be familiar with a medication called finasteride. Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). A hormone that contributes to hair follicle shrinkage and prostate cell growth. By taking finasteride it is possible to prevent further hair loss and improve symptoms related to urination. However, There have been rumors circulating about the effects of finasteride on testosterone levels. Some individuals claim that finasteride decreases testosterone and leads to sexual side effects like low libido, erectile dysfunction, and gynecomastia. On the other hand, Some others argue that finasteride increases testosterone levels. Resulting in mood swings, aggression, and acne.

This prompts us to question which claims are true and how exactly does finasteride impact your overall health and well being? In this article. I will delve into these queries while also providing valuable tips on the safe and effective use of finasteride. Let's begin!

What is DHT and why is it bad for you?

hair loss

5-alpha reductase (abbreviated 5-AR) stands out as specific enzyme responsible for catalyzing testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT),which officially serves metabolite version .At numerous bodily locations including skin, hair follicles, the brain, liver, testicles, and even the prostate gland itself,5-AR consumes approximately 5% testosterone quota and encounters the required alteration ending with our DHT product. Consequently, DHT represents as stronger variation of testosterone boosting heightened affinity. Despite both testosterone and DHT activating widely dispersed androgen receptors in one's cells, it is only DHT that fully encompasses extensive person elements manifesting during puberty—instances like facial hair growth, voice deepening larger penis size, as well as acne development. However, DHT simultaneously demonstrates lingering consequences stemming from one's matured age; ranging from hair loss all the way to prostate enlargement. Specifically relating to hair loss, this eventuality entails binding interactions between DHT alongside hair follicular attached androgen receptors. Unit accrual of these interactions results steadily on hairs shrinking over time. As a final outcome, hair finally thinning out into more miniscule structures oscillating progressively towards reality of baldness. This phenomenon receives name androgenetic alopecia (also known male pattern baldness),and approximately half of world's male population approaches its onset by age fifty. Beyond this, it becomes paramount to address the situation concerning prostate enlargement indeed brought forth through DHT engaging with residing androgen receptors situated within some focused prostate cells. Subsequent excessive cellular growth eventually yields an enlarged version pressing in on urethra—a tubular channel responsible for transferring urine from one bladder location to another. Scientifically termed benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) because it affects roughly half mankind perceiving age sixty plus.

How does finasteride work?

Finasteride is an effective treatment for hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It works by inhibiting the type II 5 AR enzyme that converts testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). By blocking this enzyme. Finasteride reduces the level of DHT in your bloodstream and tissues by approximately 70%. This reduction in DHT allows for less binding to the androgen receptors in your hair follicles and prostate cells. Which prevents or reverses shrinkage and growth issues.

The restoration of hormonal balance in your body is one of the ways that finasteride can help treat hair loss and BPH. It not only stops further hair loss but also stimulates regrowth of some of the lost hair. Additionally finasteride has shown effectiveness in improving urinary symptoms associated with BPH. These symptoms can include difficulty initiating or terminating urination, weak urine flow, frequent or urgent urination and nocturia (waking up at night to urinate). Overall finasteride provides a valuable solution for individuals looking to address both their hair loss concerns and urinary symptoms caused by BPH.

The question of whether finasteride lowers or increases testosterone levels is an important one. It is worth noting that finasteride does not lower testosterone; in fact it can actually increase it by about 10-20%. This occurs because finasteride blocks the metabolism of testosterone to DHT. Thereby leaving more testosterone available in your blood and tissues. However it is important to understand that this increase in testosterone is not significant enough to cause noticeable changes in your body or overall health. So while finasteride may boost your testosterone levels slightly it does not lead to any significant effects on your body. It is also worth clarifying that finasteride does not have an impact on estrogen levels. Estrogen plays a vital role in regulating sexual development, function, and behavior. It also affects breast tissue, fat distribution, bone density, mood, and cognition. Estrogen is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands and circulates in two forms: estradiol and estrone. 

Estradiol is the active form of estrogen that can enter cells and produce its effects. On the other hand, Estrone is a weaker form that can be converted to estradiol through an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase can be found in various tissues such as fat cells, liver, brain, and testicles. 

Aromatase's role involves converting some of your testosterone into estradiol which helps balance the effects of testosterone on your body. However. Its important to mention that finasteride does not interfere with aromatase or estrogen levels. In summary. Finasteride primarily inhibits 5 AR which converts testosterone into DHT; it does not inhibit aromatase which converts testosterone into estradiol. Therefore using finasteride alone will not lead to increased estrogen levels or gynecomastia (breast enlargement).

What are the side effects of finasteride?

Middle aged son taking care of his old father that is sick after taking finasteride

Finasteride is generally well tolerated and safe for most men. However, like any medication, finasteride can cause some side effects in a minority of users. The most common side effects of finasteride are related to its effects on your sexual function. These include:

  • Decreased libido (sexual desire)
  • Erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting or keeping an erection)
  • Ejaculation disorder (reduced volume or force of ejaculation)
  • Gynecomastia (breast enlargement or tenderness)

These side effects are usually mild and temporary. They occur in less than 5% of men who take finasteride. They usually go away within a few weeks or months after starting or stopping finasteride. They do not affect your fertility or sperm quality.

However, some men may experience more severe or persistent side effects of finasteride. These include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Suicidal thoughts

These side effects are rare and controversial. They occur in less than 1% of men who take finasteride. They may be related to the changes in hormone levels caused by finasteride or to other factors, such as genetics, personality, stress, or lifestyle. They may persist even after stopping finasteride. This condition is called post-finasteride syndrome (PFS) and is currently under investigation by researchers.

If you experience any of these side effects while taking finasteride, you should consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may adjust your dose, switch you to another medication, or advise you to stop taking finasteride altogether.


In conclusion finasteride is a medication that can be of assistance in treating hair loss and BPH. It does this by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT. It is important to note that finasteride does not decrease testosterone levels. But rather increases it by approximately 10-20%.

Similarly. It does not have an impact on estrogen levels. Keeping them unchanged. For the majority of men finasteride is generally safe and effective. However there is a small group of users who may experience side effects such as sexual dysfunction, mood disorders, and gynecomastia. Although these side effects are typically mild and temporary. In some cases they can be more severe and persistent.

Prioritizing consultation with your doctor before considering finasteride as a treatment option is highly recommended. Your doctors' input will be invaluable in determining the appropriate dosage for you and closely monitoring your progress and overall health. It is vital that you diligently adhere to the instructions provided by your doctor and promptly relay any concerns or issues regarding this medication. While finasteride has the potential to positively impact physical appearance, self confidence, and overall quality of life. Its' essential to acknowledge that it isn't an instant remedy for all problems. Equally important are endeavors like maintaining a well balanced diet. Integrating regular exercise into ones routine. Obtaining sufficient restorative sleep. Effectively managing stress levels. As well as embracing the joys life offers. Always remember that support and encouragement are always available from me every step of the way! Together we can accomplish our goals while truly savoring each moment!

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.