Q. I am experiencing erectile dysfunction and low libido after taking Finasteride. Kindly help.

Answered by
Dr. Thiyagarajan. T
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 02, 2021

Hello doctor,

I have been taking Finasteride 5 mg per day for more than a year, and now, I have started getting side effects like low libido, erectile dysfunction, and excess abdominal fat. I did not get a complete blood investigation. I just did a test to check the hormonal profile, and the results showed an increase in estradiol level and FAI.

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Low libido can happen with Finasteride. You must be aware that some people report sexual symptoms even after stopping Finasteride. The rise in estradiol is surprising, and it may or may not be due to Finasteride. The other changes in SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), testosterone, free testosterone, and FAI (free androgen index) can be either way. And the changes in these hormone levels are not significant and do not directly cause sexual symptoms. I recommend stopping Finasteride and switch to different medicine for your hair loss.

Before starting Finasteride, did you have depression or any sexual dysfunction?


Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

I did not have any libido or depression issues before taking Finasteride. And I am not convinced that Finasteride is causing the problems because I did not get any symptoms during the first year of taking Finasteride.

I have read that higher estradiol can cause sexual dysfunction, particularly ED. I am also worried about developing gynecomastia in the future.

Are there supplements or medicines that I can take to address this oestradiol issue?

Kindly help.



Welcome back to

I want you to understand the following;

1) Your estradiol levels are not too high. Your laboratory gives an upper limit of 130 pg/mL, whereas the normal range may be up to 146 pg/mL.

2) Estradiol is not causing low libido. Usually, men need estradiol to maintain libido. So medications to decrease estradiol may be counterproductive for you.

High estradiol associated with low testosterone will cause ED (erectile dysfunction). Men on testosterone therapy can develop gynecomastia if estradiol levels are high. In such people, we give medicines like Anastrozole to bring down the estradiol level.

But for you, the predominant symptom being low libido, I will not recommend that. Since you developed symptoms of low libido, which is a concern for you, I suggest you stop Finasteride and switch to alternative medicine.


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