Q. Taking Avodart triggered the onset of both erectile dysfunction and reduced ejaculate for me. I took it for two years; my prostate did not shrink, but my penis did.

These sexual side effects linger. Five years later, I still have ED and low ejaculate. The symptom of frequent nightly urination, however, has ceased to be a problem. Will the sexual side effects ever go away?

A. Medications that shrink the prostate include dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar). These drugs are prescribed to treat symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Lower dose finasteride (Propecia) is also prescribed for male pattern baldness.

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (Nov. 2012) reported persistent sexual side effects in men who took finasteride. These included reduced sexual arousal, lower ejaculate volume, erection difficulties and inability to reach orgasm. The study subjects also complained of smaller penis size and reduced sensation. It is not clear how long these complications may last. Dutasteride is likely to have similar side effects (Urology, March 2014).

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  1. Jack

    I have taken both Avodart and Proscar over the past 15 or so years and have experienced both a loss of libido and a considerable shrinking of an already modest size penis. Like Dan (above), I’m back where i was about 10 yrs. old I’m now 85 and have resigned myself to live with the problem, since I don’t want prostrate trouble, but it does have an effect on one’s ego. I’m healthy enough to have sex and would love to be able to continue what was a very good sex life with my wife.

  2. Joe
    South Africa

    Avodart definitely causes the penis to shrink and does absolutely nothing for hair growth. i have been taking Avodart for 12 years, i have no problems with erections but orgasms are not intense and ejaculations are weak or nothing.

  3. Don
    Vancouver BC

    I have been taking Avodart for about 1. 5 years. I am 80 and do not expect to have what I would call an average sex life. However, I have found out the hard way that my already short penis which was when erect 5 1/2 in. is now about the same size I was when I was about 10 y.o. That is hard on my ego if nothing else. I am now debating whether to stop taking Avodart and worrying about my Prostate enlarging but just maybe my penis will return to a good size again–life is full of probables and maybe ‘s.
    Hmmm !

  4. Dan
    United Kingdom

    Don’t know but Propecia can and has shrunk my genitals, I regret ever taking it of course especially when there doesn’t seem to be much hope of recovering 100%

  5. Lt
    Edmonton Ab

    I have been taking finasteride and silodosin for enlarged prostate now I have ED and my penis has shrunk if I stop taking these two drugs will my other two problems go away

    • Brian
      Spruce Grove

      I do not have any of the (enlarged prostate) drugs left but I know the ones I took including Proscar and Finasteride. I do have a smaller penis with very little sensation of an erection.
      I had a radical prostectomy in Dec, 2012 due to cancer. I had to stop taking testosterone which helped me maintain that fireball feeling in doing my husbandly duties. I miss having erections but the surgeon did leave my orgasm nerves intact. Orgasm is possible even with a small scrotum and smaller penis. I think it was this big when I was ten years old..lol

  6. Donnie

    My husband takes Saw Palmetto for his protate and it works well for him. I gave it to a male dog, with his vets approval, and it worked very well for him, too.

  7. B.J.

    Is their a safe substitute for these two drugs for male pattern baldness? Finasteride/Avodart causes hypothyroidism is some users.

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