So I've read on male hair loss forums that finasteride can be very effective for men. I have a receding hairline in a male pattern, so it might help me. I've read that women need to take 2.5mg to 5mg to see effects, whereas men only need to take around 1mg. The problem with this is - finasteride is known to cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women, so in general doctors won't prescribe it to women of childbearing age. But spironolactone also causes birth defects if taken by pregnant women, and doctors will very happily prescribe it to women of childbearing age if you use contraceptives. What's the difference? I know that some women have been prescribed finasteride. Is it just a case of at a doctor's discretion? I would be very willing to give it a shot to try to recover my hairline (at 5mg) so just wondering my odds of getting it prescribed. I am 25 so I imagine a doctor is probably going to be more focused on my fertility and be unwilling to prescribe it, regardless of contraceptive use/no plans for children etc.