Afraid of taking finasteride to fight male pattern baldness?
It’s a tricky situation.
Millions of men take finasteride every day without any unwanted (sexual) side effects.
But on the other side, there are a great number of men who believe the moment you swallow the pill, your love muscle is done for. And if/when they decide to give it a try, the “sides” are instantly present.
Most of these “side effects” are caused by a firm belief finasteride causes unavoidable negative sexual effects no matter what, where or who — even though there are a number of studies that prove less than 2% of Propecia users will actually “get them”. In other words, they are often psychological (nocebo):
Several studies have shown its safety over long duration of administration. The dosage given (1 mg) is small and unlikely to cause side effects. Even in those cases where side effects were reported, the changes were found to be reversible.
However, finasteride DOES increase estradiol by a certain amount.
Finasteride counters hair loss by inhibiting DHT. Because of the inhibition, finasteride increases the conversion of testosterone to estradiol – a primary female sex hormone; and the estradiol (as well as testosterone) levels were shown to increase as much as 15%.
Estradiol (E2) is a predominant estrogen and primary female sex hormone. Therefore, albeit small, there still is a slim chance for you to develop side effects from taking Propecia:
The increased estrogen levels may lead to sexually adverse events as was indeed shown in the largest trial reported on the use of finasteride 1 mg/day for men with androgenetic alopecia, where the only disturbances observed were decreased libido, difficulty in achieving erection, and decrease in semen′s amount.
And in some rare cases even gynecomastia.
CAUTION: This post is about how to improve your libido, get better erections, increase semen volume and avoid gynecomastia naturally — by living healthy, eating the right food and take a few safe supplements, since the side effects are often psychological (nocebo effect). Side effects can be very much real. Don’t try to “cure” yourself on the internet. Despite small, there is a real chance of developing unwanted (sexual) side effects, that may or may not persist after discontinuing use. See your doctor immediately if you suspect finasteride is causing you any side effects.
We are going to do this without trying to alter DHT levels, as finasteride fights hair loss by lowering DHT. We don’t want to be counterproductive. For a guide on how to treat hair loss click here.
How to help alleviate or avoid Propecia side effects naturally
Decreasing estrogen (estradiol)
First things first, since estrogen is increased by as much as 15 %, we will take a look at some natural ways to decrease it back to its “normal” levels. Decreasing estrogen can greatly increase your libido, help with erectile dysfunction and even help prevent the development of gynecomastia. However, decreasing estrogen levels too low also has some detrimental effects. That said, don’t go overboard with decreasing estrogen.
Here are some “natural” ways we can achieve that:
What are aromatase and aromatase inhibitors, and how do they work anyway?
Aromatase is the enzyme responsible for synthesizing estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors are drugs used to treat gynecomastia in men, as well as ovarian cancer and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. They work by preventing free testosterone from converting to estradiol.
Some natural sources of aromatase inhibitors include:
Brussel sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, garden cress, cauliflower, and other similar green leaf vegetables. Also, kale.
Zinc is also an aphrodisiac. At high doses, it can be used as an aromatase inhibitor. Also, if you are deficient, it can boost your testosterone as well.
Grape seed extract
Grape seed extracts are derivatives from whole grape seeds. Among countless other health benefits grape seed extracts provide, they are powerful aromatase inhibitors.
You can lower your estrogen and increase your testosterone by simply losing weight.
Boosting libido, increasing semen volume and improving erectile function
The 3 most commonly reported finasteride side effects are: lower libido, ejaculatory disorders and erectile dysfunction. Be aware, these may not always be tied to finasteride. For men, encountering this kind of conditions at several points of their lives is extremely common nowadays. Sexual dysfunction may also be tied to overuse of pornography, stressful and unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, and aging to name a few. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help improve sexual disorders naturally:
Exercise and stay away from stress
Fitness, cardio, sports, and particularly Kegel exercises will do a wonder of good for your sexual health. By now, we all know stress is just generally bad for everything, including sexual performance. Take walks, meditate, take some time off. Simple relaxation — it does make a difference.
Try male libido supplements
Maca, Muira Puama, Tribulis Terristris, Ginseng. All of the mentioned supplements have solid scientific evidence to improve your libido. Here is an exceptional article about male libido supplements.
Honey, Chocolate, Bananas, Avocado, Chili Peppers, Oysters (high in zinc), Arugula, Pomegranate, Watermelon. All mentioned foods boost libido and help you perform in bed one way or another.
Increase Your Nitric Oxide Levels
You probably don’t realize how much raising nitric oxide levels can positively impact your erectile function. Nitric oxide is the basis of Viagra. However, since you can become Viagra dependent and develop tolerance, your best bet is to raise nitric oxide levels naturally (especially if you are still young). And there are quite a number of ways you can do that:
Foods with high nitrate content
Beets, spinach, arugula, lettuce, dark chocolate and carrots. Nitrates they are converted to nitrites on your tongue, which are then converted to nitric oxide in your gut. Eating healthy is way underestimated.
Nitric Oxide supplements
Citrulline (top supplement for erectile function), Vitamin C (protects nitric oxide from being destroyed), CoQ10, Ginseng, Pyncogenol — all help increase or preserve nitric oxide. You can find more about them in this article.
Pomegranate juice is another powerful on-switch for your erectile function. Avoid using it with viagra. Together they might work too will in fact (it may cause pirapism), and you’ll have to take a hard trip to the doctor.
Sexual disorders are a very common occurrence nowadays, even in young men. Propecia nocebo effect, overuse of pornography, over-masturbation, poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle are just a fraction of reasons for poor sexual performance.
Live healthy and don’t hesitate to temporarily pop a few supplements. Your banana will thank you.