Minoxidil is one of the most widely used FDA-approved hair loss treatments.
According to a study of 11,000 participants who used the Minoxidil topical solution for at least a year, 92% claimed it provided fair to excellent results in reducing or preventing hair loss.
But like all other medicines, Minoxidil is believed to have side effects.
One question is whether the medicine has sexual side effects like Erectile Dysfunction.
In this article, we will explore does Minoxidil cause Erectile Dysfunction or not.
What is Minoxidil
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved hair loss treatment.
Minoxidil is available in two forms – solution and foam.
The strengths of Minoxidil include – 2% and 5%.
Minoxidil widens the blood vessels in the scalp, which enhances blood flow to hair follicles and encourages hair growth.
Minoxidil and Erectile Dysfunction
Not much scientific research shows a link between Minoxidil and sexual dysfunction.
Men who take Minoxidil and have libido, erection, or performance issues, frequently discover other reasons that explain their symptoms.
In fact, in a study, 2% topical Minoxidil was used as a treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.
Minoxidil was reported to increase the diameter, rigidity, and arterial flow to the penis.
But, the study’s results indicate that 2% Minoxidil was ineffective in treating Male Erectile Dysfunction.
Newer hair loss treatments like Finasteride have been found to have sexual side effects like decreased libido, Erectile Dysfunction, and Ejaculatory Dysfunction.
A 2016 research study submitted to FDA found Eight reports of sexual side effects out of Ninety-two male users of Minoxidil.
Some sexual side effects included Loss of libido, Erectile dysfunction, Reduced seminal volume, and Ejaculatory disorder.
While the same study studied Finasteride with Minoxidil and urged caution in its usage in males, it made no similar recommendation for Minoxidil.
However, only one case study found that a 35-year-old male with no other medical illness showed a few sexual side effects.
Some of the symptoms included a racing heart, chest tightness, occasional dizziness, and soft erection that progressed over days until morning erection and libido were lost.
This happened after he was using Minoxidil 5% for four months.
The patient’s sole medication was topical Minoxidil 5%, stopped after the side effects.
The patient began to recover his libido after 3-4 days of discontinuance, and the side effects diminished dramatically.
After ten days of discontinuation, the patient was free of all symptoms, and his sexual life returned to normal.
After two weeks, the patient resumed using minoxidil treatment again, and the patient’s side effects resurfaced.
The medicine was again discontinued, and the side effects disappeared.
Some other side effects of Minoxidil
Although Minoxidil is typically safe and well tolerated, it can produce specific adverse effects in some users.
Some of them include the following:
- Minoxidil-induced telogen effluvium
- Dermatitis at the site of application
- Skin irritation
- Scaly changes of the scalp
- Isolated pruritus
It may also produce more severe side effects in rare situations, such as chest discomfort or difficulty breathing.
As with other medicines, assessing the risks and advantages of any treatment before beginning any medication is essential.
While frequent side effects such as hair loss, dermatitis, and excessive hair growth can occur, it has yet to be proven whether there is clear proof and firm evidence that Minoxidil can cause any adverse side effect on sexual health.
If you are going through hair loss, it is best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Minoxidil is a popular treatment among people that suffer from hair loss.
It has rare side effects like skin irritation, dermatitis, etc.
Only one study has shown that Minoxidil caused ED in a 35-year-old male with no other medical condition.
Another study submitted to FDA showed that Minoxidil caused some sexual side effects to 8 users out of 92.
While the study urged caution to the Finasteride users, it made no such caution for Minoxidil users.
There has been no firm scientific evidence that points out that Minoxidil indeed causes Erectile Dysfunction.
It can be concluded that while only two studies suggest a link between Minoxidil and Erectile Dysfunction, significant scientific evidence is limited.
Always consult a specialist before using any treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Minoxidil give Erectile Dysfunction?
There is a lack of scientific studies proving that Minoxidil causes Erectile Dysfunction. However, according to a case study, a 35-year-old male had ED after using it for four months. But it should be noted that not every male that uses Minoxidil will get ED.
Do hair growth products cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Not all but Finasteride has been known to cause sexual side effects like Erectile Dysfunction, Ejaculatory Dysfunction, and decreased libido. However, it is very rare, and not everyone that uses Finasteride gets ED.
Is Minoxidil bad for sperm?
No, Minoxidil does not have any known adverse effect on a person’s sperm. Minoxidil is generally safe and very effective for people suffering from hair loss.
What is the disadvantage of Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is generally safe and very effective for people suffering from hair loss. But it can stain clothes or bed sheets if the hair is dry while sleeping. It can also cause side effects like skin irritation in rare cases.
Should all men use Minoxidil?
Yes, men over the age of 18 who has hair loss problems can all use Minoxidil. But it is always recommended to consult an expert before using Minoxidil.