19 days of 1mg in March 2020 - My Story

Welcome to our community. Please fill in the following template as a way of introducing yourself, and helping others to understand your background and situation.

Where are you from (country)?
Western Europe

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

What is your current age, height, weight?
30, 190cm, 82kg

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)?
Finasteride

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
1mg/day

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Alopecia androgenetica / Male pattern baldness

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
19 days

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?
28 years old, March 15, 2020

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
28, April 3, 2020

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
Cold turkey

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
±15 days

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Completely flat emotions, loss of androgenic drive and ego/confidence, anhedonia, loss of feeling of satisfaction, complete loss of libido, loss of brain - penis connection, loss of genital sensitivity, erectile dysfunction, loss of general excitement and passion for life, never feeling alone anymore

Check the boxes that apply. You can save your post first, then interactively check/uncheck the boxes by clicking on them. If your symptoms change, please update your list.

Sexual
[x] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[x] Erectile Dysfunction
[x] Complete Impotence
[x] Loss of Morning Erections
[x] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[x] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[x] Watery Ejaculate
[x] Reduced Ejaculate
[ ] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

Mental
[x] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[x] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ ] Confusion
[x] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
[ ] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[x] Slurring of Speech
[x] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[ ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ ] Severe Depression / Melancholy
[x] Suicidal Thoughts

Physical
[ ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[x] Testicular Pain
[x] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[x] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[x] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[ ] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

Misc
[ ] Prostate pain
[ ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ ] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[x] Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[ ] Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
[ ] Hearing loss
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[ ] Lowered body temperature

[ ] Other (please explain)

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?

10 months of low dose hCG (first 6 months 300IU eod, now 250IU every 3 days because E2 skyrocketed on former dose)
Bupropion 300mg for 3 months in summer 2021: Aside from anorexia and waking up early/bad sleep no positive effects
Mesterolone 200mg per day since 03-11-2021

If you have pre or post-drug blood tests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (please post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)?
Dec 2020, before any treatment
T 15nmol/L
Free T 398 pmol/L (165 - 655)
SHBG 20nmol/L
LH 2.2 U/L (1.0 - 8.4)
FAI 75 (30-85)
Prolactin 0.16 U/L
E2 not tested

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

Apart from insecurity about my hair starting in 2019 I was the happiest guy in the world, very ambitious, high libido, constant girlfriends, never been depressed and had a privileged youth with caring parents.

Took 1mg finasteride for 19 days in March 2020. Noticed watery semen, erectile dysfunction and total loss of libido, immediately quit but these sides never passed. Anhedonia and flat emotions seem to have creeped in during the year 2020. I never feel any androgenic drive/ego/hierarchy anymore. Before finasteride I used to want to share good experiences with other people and could feel very alone, but now I never feel alone anymore. Such a weird experience.

Fortunately not feeling depressed, no serious brain fog or cognitive impairment. But seem to have worse memory due to less of an emotional impression by experiences. I do often wonder though if life is still worth living this way, since quality of life is near 0. I try to keep myself busy working and meeting up with friends/colleagues. Even though it all feels “fake”. Only my parents and one of my best friends know about the PFS ordeal. I think PFS is so hard to grasp for normal people that sharing it with friends you see every week might have more negatives than positives.
Still exercising regularly and eating healthy. Athletic physique.

It’s just bizarre how only a couple of pills can completely ruin the only life you have, and how it’s still on the market and approved for male pattern baldness.

Tried hCG 200IU eod for 6 months (jan '21 - june '21), increased my testosteron to 35nmol/L, skyrocketed estradiol to way above normal, noticed an increase in energy in the purest sense of the word (no effect on all the symptoms, except energy levels) and stools turned a little softer again, hair less dry. After quitting had severe drop in energy levels, felt miserable. Tried bupropion 300mg every day without any noticeable benefits for 3 months.
Restarted hCG 200IU every 3 days to raise energy levels again (through higher testosteron).

Current situation:
hCG 250U every 3 days
Low cardohydrates diet / backloading
Running 5K twice a week (pace ±5:00 per km)
Push ups (18-14-14-10) + pull ups (9-7-7-5) twice a week.

Started mesterolone 200mg early november as per “Pals” and “RebelWithACause” experiences. Until now not noticing anything, maybe a little more flat emotions.

You used Finasteride from march 15 2020 to April 3 2020 at the age of 28. Now you’re 30 yo and you wrote you take Finasteride 3 15 2021 to 4 3 2021. I think it’s a mistake.

I feel with you for all the symptoms you suffer at such a young age. The loose of sexuality and the other symptoms.

My question: So HCG only rises the activety level while injection. After quitting the effect faded away?

2 Likes

Bringing testosteron to median levels for my age (±22nmol/L) with hCG seems to give me a tiny bit more energy. When I quit the hCG after 6 months in July 2021 I had a severe “energy” crash one night, where my body felt super heavy and warm, for a few hours. Then had super low energy for a couple of days and restarted the hCG because I thought I wouldn’t be able to work like that anymore.
hCG also seems to make my stools a bit softer again. Before hCG my stools turned very hard (sep - dec 2020).
On hCG my hair seems to be a bit less dry too.

The hCG did nothing to my flat emotions/loss of libido/anhedonia.

1 Like

Thank you for sharing your story. I used to think my depressive state might have worsened my PAS symptoms, but now I see it could be the same even without any prior issues. Despite of the different drug my experience is very similar to yours. During this year my mental state has significantly improved, but there’re still lots of problems to resolve. I hope you’ll be back to normal eventually.

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Update January 2022

It’s been six weeks off mesterolone(proviron). I used 200mg per day for 6 weeks from 03 nov 2021 - 15 dec 2022. Still using hCG 300IU every 3 days. I haven’t noticed the slightest difference yet. Hopefully it will still come. I will set up a form once I know more for both mesterolone and hCG.

The prof. in neuropsychiatry withdrew her offer to try pramipexol so we’re back to square one.

I have been researching the strategy of strenuous resistance training lately and there is a vast amount of scientific evidence of its relationship to epigenetic expression, androgens and (intracellular) dihydrotestosterone levels in particular. In addition, exercise is part of many stories of improvement by PH members.
I’m still a little sceptical and am not expecting a cure or complete recovery but it might be able to at least make for some beneficial effects to our condition, or coping with our symptoms.

Of course I’m not the first one to notice or attempt, and there’s already an extensive thread with scientific evidence of the relationship of exercise to epigenetic regulation and androgens (see link below).

My goal is to start a regimen of strenuous resistance training with heavy compound exercises to failure. Basically a bodybuilding routine in which I’ll be constantly focusing on improving intensity. The goal is to maximise endogenous DHT production through up regulating 5AR, using the positive endogenous feedback loop described in the studies (eg. Pubmed ID 6218182).

Of note: I have already been exercising “mildly” for the last 2 years, doing the following: pull ups once a week (roughly 13 - 11 - 9 - 7), push ups once a week (" 20 - 16 - 14 - 14) and 5k runs twice a week (PR 21m19s). I’ve always been athletically built, still am. Having a healthy and varied diet.

Link to topic with studies showing a relationship between exercise and epigenetic regulation + androgens:

2 Likes

Update May 2022

I’ll report my experiences with hCG and mesterolone (Proviron) for the record.

  1. Name of the therapy/substance: hCG (Pregnyl)
  • Dosage: 300IU every 3 days
  • How often you took it: For almost 1.5 years now, with two 3 week breaks in between.
  1. Status
  • Still using [x]
  • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [ ]
  • Stopped with persistent change to symptoms [ ]
  1. Duration of use: Days [ ] Months [15 ] Years []
  2. Response when you started:
  • Greatly improved [ ]
  • Slightly improved [x]
  • Stayed the same [ ]
  • Slightly worsened [ ]
  • Greatly worsened [ ]
  1. Current response
  • Greatly improved [ ]
  • Slightly improved [x]
  • Stayed the same [ ]
  • Slightly worsened [ ]
  • Greatly worsened [ ]

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

I was prescribed hCG 300IU every other day in december 2020 by my urologist. The dosages I’ve been using have slightly changed up and down ±200IU and 400IU.
I was inspired by JoeKool’s thread on the Ray Peat forum.

My labs:

Before starting hCG in dec 2020 my values were:
T 15nmol/L
Free T 398 pmol/L (165 - 655)
SHBG 20nmol/L
LH 2.2 U/L (1.0 - 8.4)
FAI 75 (30-85)
Prolactin 0.16 U/L
E2 not tested unfortunately

When I was on hCG 400IU eod:
T 33nmol/L
E2 230pmol/L (ref 12 - 136)
Free T 1099 pmol/L (ref 165 - 655)
SHBG 14nmol/L (13 - 71)

After starting I noticed my energy levels increased, my hair was less dry and my stools became softer again. It has done nothing to my mental symptoms like libido, anhedonia, flat emotions. No spontaneous erections either.

I quit the hCG twice for a couple of weeks and I noticed severe fatigue after ±7-10 days, up to a point I was afraid I could not maintain my job anymore, that’s when I restarted.

I chose to start using it every 3 days in stead of eod because my estrogen levels were twice the upper range of normal.
Fortunately I haven’t developed any breast tissue.

If you consider trying hCG, I would highly recommend using a 31G needle so it hurts the least. I inject in my stomach, subcutaneously.

  1. Name of the therapy/substance: Mesterolone (Proviron), underground source
  • Dosage: 200mg
  • How often you took it: once a day
  1. Status
  • Still using [ ]
  • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [x]
  • Stopped with persistent change to symptoms [ ]
  1. Duration of use: Days [ 42] Months [ ] Years [ ]
  2. Response when you started:
  • Greatly improved [ ]
  • Slightly improved [ ]
  • Stayed the same [x]
  • Slightly worsened [ ]
  • Greatly worsened [ ]
  1. Current response (if you’re still using the therapy/substance) OR Response in the time before you stopped the treatment
  • Greatly improved [ ]
  • Slightly improved [ ]
  • Stayed the same [x]
  • Slightly worsened [ ]
  • Greatly worsened [ ]
  1. Lasting changes to initial symptoms after cessation (if you have stopped for more than 3 weeks)
  • Greatly improved [ ]
  • Slightly improved [ ]
  • Stayed the same [x]
  • Slightly worsened [ ]
  • Greatly worsened [ ]

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

I was inspired by Pal’s story, a former forum member who used proviron 200mg for 7 weeks and actually proclaimed feeling cured.

An important note is I had to get the mesterolone through and underground source. So I haven’t been able to check if it was actually real but according bodybuilding forums it was a reputable source and brand.

I used it from ± mid november 2021 until late december 2021. It did nothing to my symptoms. I experienced no benefit, fortunately no side effects either.

Every once in a while I still considering trialing a strong androgen like trestolone (MENT) but I’ll focus on exercise and supporting the research initiatives first.

Update may 2022

I’ve started doing resistance training until failure since about mid February to test the resistance training hypothesis mentioned in this topic on January 15 2022.

Since I’m still working for 60+ hours a week with irregular shifts, including night shifts, I’m not following a tight schedule but I’ll do my workouts whenever I can.

I’m doing a split scheme divided in Chest/Back/Legs/Shoulders+biceps.

I do about 3-4 workouts per week on average, lasting 2 hours each. I focus on doing everything until failure aiming for 8-12 repetitions for 4 sets per exercise. To maximise DHT peaks.
I’m doing it to the point where, for instance after leg training, I’m barely able to walk on day 2 after workout due to muscle soreness.

I still feel like I’m starting out because I’m still using relatively low weight (for example squat 60kg, bench press 50kg, deadlift 60kg, pull ups with bodyweight 10 reps) but I’m focusing on getting my technique right first.

I will update my story every couple of months.r

1 Like

How’s your mental sides after these past ~2 years? Any improvements?

Unfortunately no improvements at all. That’s the hardest part for me, it seems like I can try anything but baseline never changes a single bit. Still anhedonia, 0 libido and flat emotions both ways. Important notice is I never experienced severe brain fog or cognitive issues. It seems like my mind is still able to function but the motivation/emotional part is missing.

I’ve been doing intense resistance training for the last 5 months without a hint of improvement in my PFS symptoms. It is keeping me busy though, besides still working 50-60 hours a week.

I’ve also started a ketogenic diet for the last 2 weeks and have been in ketosis since. Planning to stay on the diet for at least 6 months. I will continue the resistance training also.

you took 200mg of Proviron daily for 5 weeks and didn’t feel a thing?