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About Pondle

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  1. Lethargy and fatigue aren't listed as possible side effects in the prescribing information but I'm no expert in pharmacology. If you visit certain forums you'll find men blaming finasteride for causing them all kinds of woes but as you'll know, I'm pretty sceptical about some of the more outlandish claims, even following my own personal experience of side effects. Ultimately in my view if you take finasteride and then suffer from problem X, and it's listed as a possible undesirable effect, then you can fairly attribute it to the drug. If problem X isn't listed as a possible undesirable effect, you might consider other potential causes - lifestyle, diet, age, stress, illness, whatever - before blaming finasteride. Of course, discussing any concerns with a doctor is always a good strategy. Just my personal opinion.
  2. If you're planning a family anytime soon the watery semen issue may be worrisome. I remember a study - can't find the ref at the moment - indicating that semen characteristics only return to baseline after about two years of discontinuing fin. (I'll have to try to dig out the original text to be sure). If you're young free and single though, perhaps it's not such a worry.
  3. Yes Joe, I saw a consultant urologist who was convinced that my low ejaculate volume and sperm motility were down to the extended use of finasteride. The former is an acknowledged problem with fin for some users. The hair is ok three- plus years down the line, obviously some minor loss but minoxidil is helping a bit. I'm no longer religious about my regimen though.
  4. I dropped finasteride a few years ago after I started to experience some nasty side effects, which was a shame and a surprise as I'd used the drug successfully with no concerns for five years. However, the sides did abate within a year or so of stopping, so I hope that will give you some reassurance.
  5. I know that several members of the Stophairlossnow forum had (like me) interactions with Bryan on the US sites over the years, or will at least be well aware of his contribution to the community, so I thought it might be helpful to post links to the September announcement of his sad passing. http://www.hairlosstalk.com/interact/showthread.php/70960-Bryan-Shelton http://www.hairlosshelp.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=10&threadid=107757 I'm frankly amazed that - if the comments in those threads are accurate - Bryan didn't apply the same care and good sense he showed in his attitude to hair loss to other aspects of his health. It's a reminder to all of us that there are bigger worries than hair loss, and we need to be just as concerned about our fundamental health as we are about our hairlines and our vanity. As another blogger has said, Bryan was one of the few constants in online hair loss discussions over the last 15 years or so.* Men experiencing MPB will be much less well-informed without him. I know it's strange to say, given that I haven't been active on these sites for years and I never met the guy in person - but I will miss him. [* Bryan had quite an interesting family history as well: apparently his sister was a well-known American diplomat and his brother-in-law was former CIA director William Colby.]
  6. Hi everyone, it's been a while... Sorry for being absent from the forum for so long! Longstanding members will know that I used to be a regular here, but over the last couple of years I've had two kids and been preoccupied with work and family and everyday life; my concerns about hair loss have faded into the background. I've allowed my regimen to lapse, more or less, and I've not been motivated to even look at the hairloss forums, leave alone had anything to say on them. Until now…. The other day, in an idle moment I decided to browse one of my old stomping grounds, the forums over at well-known American site Hairlosstalk. I instantly noticed a thread title - "Bryan Shelton" - and was, upon opening it, shocked to see the sad announcement of his tragic death back in September. Newer members may well be wondering, "Bryan who?", but for those of us who have any prior history of interest in internet discussions of male pattern baldness, its causes and treatment, this name will be almost legendary. Bryan was one of the most prolific, expert, and hugely-respected stalwarts of what you might call 'the online hair loss community' since the early days of newsgroups in the mid 90s. After I first started experiencing MPB around 2005, I immediately took to the net in search of solutions and came across the strange world of hair loss forums. They were a mixed bag but you noticed a few discussions between people who had clearly read the research literature and knew their stuff. One man in particular kept cropping up, notable for the quality of his contributions and the clarity of his explanations - Bryan. I engaged in a number of discussions with Bryan a few years back, and, like many of us, read loads more of his posts passively. He was a man of tremendous knowledge and - as someone else said elsewhere - great decorum. The hairloss community sadly has a fair share of spammers, trolls, mono-maniacs and keyboard warriors, but Bryan was a font of wisdom and a beacon of reason. An armchair researcher, a citizen scientist, we have lost someone who, on his own time took the trouble to actually dig out scientific journals in academic libraries. He sometimes seemed to know more about hair loss than many dermatologists and research scientists. Not bad for a guy in his middle years who, apparently, didn't have a degree and last worked as a printer repair technician. Towards the end of his 'forum career' there were accusations from some quarters that Bryan was too much of an advocate for a certain treatment (he always denied doing anything unethical). Whatever you feel about that episode, I don't think that should sully his magnificent contribution. He helped many hundreds of men to understand what really causes MPB and how to treat it while avoiding the very many snake oils and con artists out there. He was an advocate for scientific method, a disseminator of knowledge, and - although I never met him in person, saw his picture or heard his voice - seemed like a genuinely decent guy. A little late I know, but my thoughts are with his friends and family. RIP Bryan Shelton - you will be sorely missed.
  7. I'm not sure about Nizorelle being discontinued, but Google Shopping turned up only one result, which speaks volumes... anyway, Nizoral isn't too harsh if used a just couple of times per week.
  8. I think it has to be a personal decision Willy. I don't really have a Norwood rating threshold in mind when I'd say, "right, it's time for a HT". Some of the guys who have already had HTs - Spex, PB and others - might be help you think it through.
  9. I'm not that bald yet Willy - I'm basically a Norwood 2 with some thinning at the crown. The front is a little bit dodgy but as long as I don't use too much gel it's not overly apparent. I'd consider a HT long-term if things got substantially worse, but it's such a radical and costly step that it doesn't carry a lot of appeal for me.
  10. http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/09/baldness-0
  11. Thanks Joe. I noticed hair shedding seemed to increase after about three months off finasteride - this was despite using Rogaine foam... I'm going to take fin once every few days and see how it goes. At least I know that I can recover if I have any future problems.
  12. This was an experimental compound, which IIRC was produced by a French company, but has never been commercialised. According to some of the hair loss forums, you can buy the raw chemical from a Chinese manufacturer - whether this is the 'real thing', whether it's legal, safe to use, and effective, may be open questions. You'd really have to know what you're doing to think about importing chemicals from China and producing your own hair loss treatment in your kitchen. Sounds kind of "way out there" as fair as I'm concerned. http://www.hairsite.com/hair-loss/board_en...scasc-DESC.html
  13. Well it's one year since I began my break from finasteride, I thought you guys might be interested in an update... Regulars will remember that I'm a long-time forum poster and finasteride user. I started taking the drug in 2005 and only stopped last August when I noticed a dramatic decline in semen volume. Obviously I was worried about the impact on my fertility, so I consulted my GP and was referred to a specialist. Subsequent analysis gave mixed results: I had a high sperm count but low motility, which the consultant attributed to the lack of seminal fluid, caused by the long-term impact of finasteride. Well anyway, in the months after stopping treatment my semen volume recovered somewhat, I met the woman who is now my fiancee, and she's now pregnant. So it seems that - at least in my case - finasteride didn't have a permanent impact on my reproductive health. I'm reassured enough to tentatively return to the drug, albeit at a less frequent dose.
  14. Hi Scotty, it's probably a nice shampoo, but it's one thing for a product to claim that it promotes "thicker looking hair", halting the progression of androgenic alopecia is quite another! Remember that finasteride and minoxidil are the only things that are clinically proven to be effective against male pattern hair loss.
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