A pilot study on the sexual side effects of finasteride as related to hand preference for men undergoing treatment of male pattern baldness

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OBJECTIVETo investigate the relationships between pharmacologically induced deprivation of dihydrotestosterone, sexual arousal, libido and hand preference, by comparing the self-reported sexual response prior to and during reception of the anti-androgen finasteride in men undergoing treatment for male pattern baldness.PATIENTS AND METHODIn total, 33 sexually healthy Romanian men participated in this study.Patients prospectively provided information regarding their sexual functioning (over 4 weeks), as measured by the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) prior to and after commencing treatment with 1 mg finasteride for male pattern baldness.RESULTSOverall IIEF scores as well as the erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire and overall satisfaction subscales showed group, treatment and group by treatment effects.The intercourse satisfaction subscale showed group and group by treatment effects.On most subscales, right-handed men showed no effect or lower sexual function whereas left-handed men reported no effect or improved sexual function, primarily.CONCLUSIONSThese results suggest that the sexual effects of dihydrotestosterone deprivation may depend on handedness – a proxy variable that may represent cognitive style – which lends further support to the idea of two distinct neuroendocrine psychosexual axes.They further suggest that detection of such sexual effects may be enhanced by using research methodologies and communication strategies that increase patients' sensitization to such effects.

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