What You Should Know About Finasteride (Propecia), Male-Pattern Baldness, and Penis-Shrinkage

Donna Lee: 0:00
The Armor Men’s Health Hour is brought to you by Urology Specialists. For questions during the week, call us at (512) 238-0762 or visit our website at armormenshealth.com. The Armor Men’s Health Hour is a show dedicated to providing information on a variety of medical topics, some of which may include sensitive subject material about penises. All cases discussed have been done with the permission of the people involved and their penises.

Speaker 2: 0:35
Welcome to the Armor Men’s Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee.

Dr. Mistry: 0:42
Hello and welcome to the Armor Men’s Health Hour. I’m Dr. Mistry, your host here with my cohost Donna Lee.

Donna Lee: 0:47
Hello. Thank you for that lovely introduction.

Dr. Mistry: 0:49
Thank you guys for listening. We’re really excited about being here. This is going to be one of our last Sunday shows.

Donna Lee: 0:55
We are moving on up.

Dr. Mistry: 0:56
We are moving.

Donna Lee: 0:57
We kind of got promoted.

Dr. Mistry: 0:58
We got promoted a Saturday.

Donna Lee: 1:01
I’m excited.

Dr. Mistry: 1:01
We’re hoping that we’ll get more listeners more interested in our podcasts and of course more wonderful and lovely questions and interactions. We really love our listeners, really appreciate all the feedback that we’re getting from you guys. And of course, really enjoy giving you this show.

Donna Lee: 1:15
It’s super exciting. We’ve had lots of interest, and the staff’s excited about the show. We meet random strangers on the street and they’re like, “Hey, are you Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee from the Armor Men’s Health Hour?”

Dr. Mistry: 1:26
You think it’s because we have a huge sticker on our truck?

Donna Lee: 1:29
Uhuh. And my car.

Dr. Mistry: 1:29
I think the sticker on the truck…

Donna Lee: 1:30
And the T shirts we wear when we walked down the street.

Dr. Mistry: 1:32
I think all that helps…

Donna Lee: 1:33
Please ask me our radio show.

Dr. Mistry: 1:36
A lot of people ask me what motivated us to put this show together? Well, for one, Donna Lee’s a professional comedian, so she’s able to bring some levity.

Donna Lee: 1:45
I need, I need an outlet. A comedic outlet.

Dr. Mistry: 1:48
That’s right.

Donna Lee: 1:48
Aside from my real job as your practice manager.

Dr. Mistry: 1:51
That’s right.

Donna Lee: 1:52
Which has no stress at all.

Dr. Mistry: 1:54
Recently, one of the vendors that we use asked us what our value proposition was as a company and how we’re different as a urology and men’s health provider. And it was so easy to be able to give them that answer, which is that we really look at the whole person, the whole man, when we’re treating them for even urologic issues. We think about diet, biomechanics, we think about supplements that you’re using. We also want to make sure that you’re appropriately using prescription medications, surgery when necessary, and I think that allows us to create a better picture. I think as a group, each individual provider here probably sees fewer patients per day than other really busy mill-like practices. You’re going to get more time with us. It means that you may have to wait a little while to see us. I think that you’re going to be really satisfied with the level of care you’re getting. So if you’re out there and you’re getting treated for low testosterone or you’ve been given a prostate cancer diagnosis or any other urologic issue, including chronic kidney stones, we’d love to see you. We’re big believers in second opinions. Mainly because when they get a second opinion with us, they stay.

Donna Lee: 2:56
That’s true. They just like your winning personality.

Dr. Mistry: 3:00
Well, I don’t know about that one. I’m a board certified urologist. I trained at Baylor College of Medicine for my residency and my medical school. It is the best medical school in the world.

Donna Lee: 3:09
You don’t say.

Dr. Mistry: 3:09
And it is a feature that I remind all of my UTMB graduating guests about all the time. We talk about a host of different issues here that are specifically urology related. But then we also love to have guests on. These are usually prominent physicians from the Austin community, to talk about issues that affect men such as cancer, orthopedic issues, skin issues, a variety of things. And we would love to get your recommendations on guests that you’d like to hear from, topics you’d like to hear about, and then you can either tune into us here on KLBJ AM news radio or our podcast.

Donna Lee: 3:45
We’re super busy with our little podcasts.

Dr. Mistry: 3:47
It’s a lot of work. It’s exciting though.

Donna Lee: 3:49
It’s fun.

Dr. Mistry: 3:49
I mean, it’s the future of, you know, mass communication, people listening to stuff.

Donna Lee: 3:53
We’re getting a lot of listeners, so that’s good. We’re educating the masses.

Dr. Mistry: 3:56
That’s right. So we had some great questions today that we want to go over with. Let’s bring up that question you mentioned about the Finasteride use.

Donna Lee: 4:03
Okay. So you can send your questions to armormenshealth@gmail.com. That’s armormenshealth@gmail.com. We have our first question.

Dr. Mistry: 4:12
Yeah, that’s right. Dead air doesn’t really cost you anything on the radio, luckily.

Donna Lee: 4:17
“Dear Dr. Mistry, I am now 58 years old and have been taking Propecia.” Which is also Finasteride.

Dr. Mistry: 4:21
That’s right.

Donna Lee: 4:22
“…For male pattern baldness for about 20 years. Are you aware of any reports of Finasteride causing shrinkage of the penis? I feel like my penis is smaller now than it was 20 or 30 years ago. My weight is heavier now than it was then, and I believed that increased way can kind of hide things, so to speak. So I’m uncertain as to what’s going on.” That sounds like my husband’s question.

Dr. Mistry: 4:42
That, it’s our horror movie that we’re going to make.

Donna Lee: 4:45
“The Shrinking Penis!”

Dr. Mistry: 4:46
“And the 50-Year-Old Man.” There’s a lot packed into that question. Let me first start by explaining what Finasteride or Propecia is. It is a medication that works on a hormonal level to reduce the production of a very powerful form of testosterone. So testosterone can be converted into a more powerful form and this medication stops that conversion and in the skin or specifically in the scalp, that medication has been proven to maintain hair density, hair follicle density. So if you are experiencing male pattern baldness, it can help slow down that process. Obviously it helps more if you have here than when you don’t have any hair. And then it’s also used in a higher dose to shrink the prostate because this more powerful form of testosterone actually has a much stronger impact on the prostate. And so that’s where the medicine is used. Personally, I hate that medicine, and I don’t use it in virtually anyone. And young guys are trying to have babies, I have found that that medication can lead to infertility and fertility-type problems. In older guys who are on it, I think that it just delays eventual need for surgery. It takes a long time for it to start working, up to six months for it to start working. And it can cause a variety of health conditions. One of them is gynecomastia, where you can get breast tissue. I think that this man boobs, not even just, not just fat man boobs, but actual like…

Donna Lee: 6:04
Like booby-boobs?

Dr. Mistry: 6:04
…like, you’re like excited about touching them kind of boobs, you know. Like, and that’s what gynecomastia is going to be, a thicker rubbery tissue inside there and it’s harder to get rid of even with weight loss. And so, I don’t like the medicine. I try to get all the patients that come to me that are on it off of it either with surgery, if I think it’s appropriate. There is a known condition that’s, it’s like a “Finasteride syndrome,” they call it, in which people that even if they take the medicine for a short time can have long term erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, body habitus changes. So I just don’t like it. I think that it’s unfortunate if you are experiencing male pattern baldness and I can see why people would use it. In fact, you can get this medicine through one of these online kind of companies where you just answer a few questions and they send it to you. And I think that’s ripe for a problem because if you’re a 22 year old guy sitting on the computer thinking, “Man, I don’t want to be bald like my dad,” and order this stuff. Next thing you know, you’re impotent and infertile. I think that it’s going to be a big surprise to you. So, I personally don’t like the use of that medication. And it causing shrinkage of your penis is something that wouldn’t surprise me at all. I mean, when you’re getting especially 30 years of use, getting rid of that more powerful testosterone. But of course that call or that question-sender also noted another thing, which is that the heavier you are, the heavier you are, your penis will shrink. And we as urologists, kinda like the rule of thumb 30 pounds for one inch. So…

Donna Lee: 7:32
Is that true?

Dr. Mistry: 7:32

Donna Lee: 7:32

Dr. Mistry: 7:33
Because a lot of men, especially as they get older, they develop that weight gain kind of in the lower abdomen and in the mons pubis area. And certainly it’s going to kind of bury the penis.

Donna Lee: 7:43
Right, and now they’re doing the abdomen procedures for men where they minimize their abdomen area so their penis looks larger. But they just probably need to lose a little weight.

Dr. Mistry: 7:49
Yeah, liposuction. Yeah. I think there’s even a guy in town that does liposuction for the mons pubis to the penis look longer. But, you know, knowing especially as you’re getting heavier and older that weight loss is going to have the added benefit of, you know, giving you a bigger girth, or a bigger length to your penis is something that may motivate people to kinda, you know, stay off the holiday cookies.

Donna Lee: 8:15
Dr. Mistry!

Dr. Mistry: 8:16
What are you hiding in there?

Donna Lee: 8:20
My secret cookies.

Dr. Mistry: 8:21
Donna, why don’t you tell people how to get ahold of us and about our practice?

Donna Lee: 8:25
Yeah, I am a board certified cohost and I majored in…

Dr. Mistry: 8:31
And award winning! Given to us by ourselves…

Donna Lee: 8:32
And award winning. That’s right. And I went to Texas State University and majored in partying, unlike your surgery stuff. You can reach us during the week at (512) 238-0672 and I will tell you all about my partying days, and our website is armormenshealth.com. Our email address is armormenshealth@gmail.com. We keep it super simple. Armormenshealth@gmail.com. We have four locations in the Austin area: Round Rock; North Austin, just south of Lakeline Mall, and we have one in south Austin on South Congress. It’s super pretty, Dr. Mistry.

Dr. Mistry: 9:06
It is really nice.

Donna Lee: 9:08
And the homeless guy that was pooping at our front door has gone away. So you’re all welcome to join us there. And we also have a Dripping Springs…

Dr. Mistry: 9:14
Thank you, Austin City Council.

Donna Lee: 9:17
We also have a Dripping Springs location that does not have a homeless problem. So, but we’re good. We’re all over the place so you can find us anywhere in town and we’re pretty flexible with our schedule. We’ll get you in as soon as we can, but hey, it’s the end of the year. So give us a break and call us for 2020.

Dr. Mistry: 9:32
And big thanks to the people that send us questions. That type of Finasteride question is one that I bet you virtually no one on the medicine would seek out urologic care to ask a second opinion about.

Donna Lee: 9:45
I had no idea that was going to be such a packed answer from you, so thank you.

Dr. Mistry: 9:49
Oh, it was a great question and it’s something that I have an opinion about, like a strong opinion about and…

Donna Lee: 9:54
That’s why we don’t see the Finasteride, Propecia rep for lunch.

Dr. Mistry: 9:59
That’s right. He doesn’t come by.

Donna Lee: 10:03
It’s like, “I’m staying away from that Dr. Mistry, he does not like me.”

Dr. Mistry: 10:05
“He does not like my product.” Well, great. Well thank you for joining us today. We’ll be right back.

Speaker 3: 10:10
The Armor Men’s Health Hour. We’ll be right back. If you have questions for Dr. Mistry, email him at armormenshealth@gmail.com.