0) Where are you from (country)?
1) How did you find this forum (Google search -- if so, what search terms? Via link from a forum or website -- if so, what page? Other?)
Google search: initially by searching for 'erectile dysfunction'. I then found a post on another forum (I don't know which) where someone suggested that ED in young men might be linked to finasteride use
2) What is your current age, height, weight?
29yo, 6'1", 215 lbs.
3) Do you exercise regularly? If so, what type of exercise?
4) What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)?
High-calorie, high-protein, lots of meat
5) Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)?
6) For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)?
Not exactly sure, because at first I was getting it without a scrip, from Hong Kong. I don't know whether or not is was genuine. The genuine article, about 4 years.
7) How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start Finasteride?
8) How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
9) How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
Tapered off, on the recommendation of this website
10) What type of Finasteride did you use – Propecia, Proscar, Fincar or other generic?
I got some generic Proscar (probably varied over the years) and cut up the tablets
11) What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
1.25 mg/day, by splitting a 5mg pill into quarters
12) How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects?
I NOTICED sexual dysfunction after 4 years on the drug. I have no idea whether there were any changes earlier than that. If there were, I didn't notice them. More on this below.
13) What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Put an X beside all that apply:
[ ] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[x] Erectile Dysfunction
[ ] Complete Impotence
[ ] Loss of Morning Erections
[ ] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ ] Watery Ejaculate
[ ] Reduced Ejaculate
[ ] Inability to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility
[ ] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[ ] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ ] Confusion
[ ] Memory Loss / Forgetfullness
[ ] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[ ] Slurring of Speech
[ ] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[ ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ ] Depression / Melancholy
[ ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[ ] Testicular Pain
[ ] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[ ] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ ] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[ ] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes
[ ] Prostate pain
[ ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ ] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[ ] Constipation / "Poo Pellets"
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[ ] Lowered body temperature
[ ] Other (please explain)
14) What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
No prescription treatments, but I supplement with Maca and have started taking horny goat weed.
15) If you have pre or post-Finasteride bloodtests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (pls post your test results in the "Blood Tests" section and link to them in your post)?
Haven't had either. I'm sorta wondering now whether I might be able to obtain some bloodtest results from back in the day to find a pre-Finasteride T baseline. Hmm.
16) Anything not listed in the above questions you'd like to share about your experience with Finasteride?
See story below.
17) Tell us your story, in your own words, about your Finasteride usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
Okay. First, I want to say that I won't pretend for a minute that my condition is anywhere near as bad as many of yours. My heart goes out to those of you with severe impairments.
I began taking what I thought was Finasteride when I was 24. I ordered it over the internet from Hong Kong (because it was cheaper, I suppose). To this day, I can't know whether it was genuine or not. I used that for some months, and then eventually decided to switch to what I could be confident was Finasteride. I got it through my university pharmacy. It was generic Proscar of some kind, and I split the 5 mg tablets into quarters, for a dose of 1.25 mg/day. I continued in this manner for 4 years, until September 2011.
While I was taking the drug, I didn't NOTICE any side effects. Maybe I had some minor ones; I can't know. Certainly, whatever side effects I had were not dramatic enough to make me pay attention. A couple of things about my sexual past: first, I always had very high libido, and consumed a great deal of pornography from an early age, and masturbated frequently. Five times a day was not at all uncommon. I was sexually active from 16, and had an active sex life until about 21. From 21 to 24, I had no sex but masturbated frequently, often with intense visual stimulation from pornography.
I then started taking the drug, and shortly thereafter began a relationship with a woman, and became sexually active again. However, penetrative sex with her was difficult; she was a virgin when we started dating, and had psychological hangups about sex that made her very resistant to penetration. We probably had penetrative sex 10 times in 2 years. The problems with penetration were not, it seemed to me, related to a lack of erectile strength on my part, although after trying in vain to penetrate her, I would lose my erections. I can't really remember if this happened with other girls or not. Certainly I never before had such problems penetrating. But again, even in this case it didn't seem to be connected with any dysfunction on my part. I got hard. And we were sexually active in the sense that she'd masturbate me to orgasm most nights. During this time I had a strong libido, and frequent erections when with her. So, I can't say that either libido or erectile function was affected at all at this point.
Further, I've never really had much in the way of morning erections (not NEVER, but certainly not often), and I've never to my knowledge had a nocturnal emission. And I certainly wouldn't know how to tell that I'd had a nocturnal erection. But I've been such a frequent masturbator for so long, that perhaps that prevented nocturnal emissions and morning erections. So, I can't say anything on this head, either.
Now, here's where things started to change. This girl and I broke up when I was 26. And then, from 26 to 29, I was sexually inactive again (I know, lame), apart from frequent masturbation, using intense visual stimulation from video pornography. And my interests in pornography got increasingly graphic and (kind of) extreme, although nothing particularly fetish-related. I don't know whether that's relevant, but I do sometimes feel a bit 'desensitized' to sex because of my years of experience with pretty intense pornography.
Finally, at 29, I was sexually active again. And this is where I finally noticed a real problem. I got sexually involved with a girl, and twice was unable to achieve erection for sex. At the time, I put it down to her insistence that I use a condom. I've ALWAYS had serious problems with condoms. Even at 16, I found it nearly impossible to orgasm with a condom on, and usually I would eventually lose wood. Knowing that I had to use a condom made me very anxious, and could have contributed to my failure. And bless her heart, the girl actually came back a third time, but she was on her period and so we only messed around. I remained hard for a long session of foreplay, and she gave me oral sex to orgasm.
That was it with that girl (we ended things for a number of reasons), but that freaked me out, and that's when I found this site, some eight months ago. I tapered off the drug over about a month. I was sexually active with a girl in the following month, during what might have been a 'surge' period after going off the drug. And I performed quite well sexually - I even had longish vaginal sex SIX times in a period of about 12 hours with this girl. This was without a condom.
We broke things off, and then I became sexually active with another girl, my current girlfriend, this May. All the while in between I was masturbating normally, although sometimes I'd try to forgo masturbation for a couple weeks to see if that helped. Oddly, it did give me some morning erections, something I had RARELY experienced (you really can't overstate how much I masturbated as a youth).
Things have been so-so with the current girl. I've been off finasteride for eight months, and I've been powerlifting for about 11. I get stronger, but slowly, although that could be related to lots of things, including my workout frequency and eating habits, sleep, etc. I'm not willing to put it down to low-T, at this point. Or whatever (I recall that people suffering from PFS may not even have low T anyway). I take myself to have high libido: I frequently want sex, she turns me on, I am visually stimulated by lots of women that I see (I live on a college campus), I get hard during foreplay, etc. But when it comes to vaginal sex, sometimes I feel like I have to get myself so hyperstimulated that I come too fast. Sometimes I perform well, and other times I get distracted and lose wood. I can usually regain it, but it leaves SO quickly.
This seems to be my problem. I CAN get very firm erections, as firm as any time in the past. Although sometimes the erections are not 100%. I have high libido, and I get aroused when I'm with my girlfriend. Maybe it's anxiety, I don't know, but I sometimes lose wood when it's time to perform, and efforts to maintain it make me hypersensitive and I come too fast (like in less than a minute from penetration). I have had sex with this girl using a condom, although usually not. I was pleased to see I could do that.
Clearly, my situation is not nearly as dire as many of yours. And perhaps you think I'm wasting your time by complaining about my situation here. But I think my experience counts as dysfunction, and it has persisted. Maybe it's not even connected to finasteride. I am curious to know whether there are others with such a minor suite of symptoms.