BibFortuna (21M, Fin) Member 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)?
United States

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?)
Mentioned on r/tressless

What is your current age, height, weight?
21, ~5’8" (hasn’t been measured in a while), ~150lbs

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.)?
1.25 mg, daily

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Receding hairline

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
One month

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?
21 years old; started December 6th, 2018.

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
Still 21; January 5th, 2019

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

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
Not entirely sure, probably 2 maybe 3 weeks

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

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

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

Physical
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

Misc
Prostate pain
Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
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)
Penis is sometimes hard-flaccid. Usually when standing, sometimes while sitting, but it’s usually normal while laying down.

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
Beetroot extract, increases blood flow (allegedly). Also tried supplementing with amino acids for a bit, maybe I should try that again. Hoping to start living healthier (diet, exercise, sleep) soon.

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)?
Got a hormone panel done in mid-January (<2 weeks after quitting fin), wasn’t super comprehensive (tested free T, total T, prolactin, and SHBG). SHBG was pretty high, but I’m sure that’s normalized by now. Everything else normal. Got a more comprehensive blood panel done recently (late July). Most things normal, but I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (which is known to cause sexual dysfunction).

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?
Don’t think so.

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
Took the drug for a month for receding hairline. Side effects (watery ejaculate, soft erections, no morning wood, etc.) got to be a bit too much for my tastes, so I quit. Like many others, my symptoms improved for a bit (~10 days), then I went through that notorious “crash”. Things have improved since then, but I’m still not normal.

I’ll try to write in-depth about my symptoms now. If you’re gonna read one part of my post then please read the following.

I wake up soft most mornings, and morning wood used to be a daily occurrence. Some mornings I can get hard after waking up (usually the erection isn’t 100% though). Some mornings I actually have woken with an erection (full ones, too). This recently happened from July 24th, the day after an appointment with a GP about my symptoms, until July 30th, the day of my follow-up appointment. (These dates make me wonder if there’s something psychological at play).
I’m pretty sure my penis has changed shape. The shaft slopes more to the left than it used to (it looks like something happened at the left side of the base), but the glans straightens out, creating a “kink” under the glans on the right side that’s most noticeable when semi-erect. It reminds me of a textbook example of an obtuse angle. It’s not that bad, but I’m sure I would’ve had that thought before if it was always like that. I got felt up by a urologist in late January who said he couldn’t find any signs of plaque or structural damage. I myself haven’t noticed any signs since then, but maybe I’m due for another professional exam. Also, I don’t think I’ve experienced any loss of fully erect length or girth.
My penis acts weird a lot. It seems like it’s always hard-flaccid while I’m standing. Maybe that’s psychological (I expect my dick to be hard-flaccid, so it starts acting all hard-flaccidy). Sometimes, it’s longer and narrower than it should be, I think that usually happens when I whip it out to piss. Also, I’ve experienced that thing where your dick curves/wrinkles in the middle while you’re pooping. I don’t know if that’s normal, but I’ve only seen people dealing with fin sides talk about it.
I can get full erections (and achieve orgasm), but getting and maintaining full erections is harder than it was before. Usually, when I get erections, my shaft engorges but my glans does not. The glans will engorge too with manual stimulation, but it seems like it does not engorge naturally.
I’ve gained weight since the beginning of the year (maybe I started getting fatter sooner), but I think that has more to do with worse diet (been eating more fast food lately) and slower metabolism from hypothyroidism. My right nut has also ached a bit lately, doubt that’s related though.
I’ll add that I do have mild depression, but it’s never interfered with my sexual functioning before. In fact, the only time I’ve experienced sexual dysfunction is when I took Zoloft, but that cleared up the moment I stopped taking it. I’m currently taking Wellbutrin, although I’ve been taking it irregularly lately.
As I’ve mentioned a couple times in this post, I’ve recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I’ve been taking meds for a couple of weeks, but I don’t think I’ve shown any signs of improvement. The meds won’t take full effect until 6-8 weeks after I started taking them, and I may need a higher dose, so I’m trying to be hopeful. Honestly, if I started waking up with morning wood again, that would mean the world to me.
So yeah, I’m just a normal dude who’s dick isn’t working at 100% and I’d like it to again. I’m open to any treatment ideas (supplements, meds, lifestyle adjustments, etc.) you guys may have.

Minor update (Oct 5): I’ve been using Nizoral shampoo for the past several months. I saw some people on this site claim that Nizoral can worsen symptoms or even be an outright cause of PFS. Personally, I’m skeptical. Not even r/tressless thinks much of Nizoral’s anti-androgen effects, but I guess I can give it up for a bit and see what happens.

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See if something like i did works for you

Update: I’ve noticed the subtlest of improvements after dropping my nizoral shampoo. I also started lifting weights around this time. Don’t know why these improvements occurred. Could be the shampoo, the gym, time, or maybe nothing’s changed and it’s all in my head (I’m leaning towards the latter tbh).

I got my blood tested after being on levothyroxine for more than a couple months. Doc said she was gonna drop my dose (88mcg -> 75mcg) but it obviously hasn’t done much for my sexual dysfunction.

Also, there have been times where I was erect when my alarm woke me up early. So I guess I’m getting nocturnal erections. I wanted to uncheckmark that, but it looks like my post is too old to edit now. Also, I probably should’ve checked off genital numbness because my orgasms rarely feels as good as they did pre-fin. My genitals also feel cold to the touch sometimes, maybe that’s normal though.

Also, I think the skin on my penis and scrotum is darker/redder than it was before. Not completely sure though, I don’t have any pics to compare and I don’t really care that much either. There is definitely a new dark patch of skin though. I don’t know if it’s coincidental but the spot is right where I place my thumb when I masturbate.

UPDATE (late Nov.): had a follow-up appointment with that nurse practitioner. I told her that there’s been no improvement in symptoms. She pointed out that the levothyroxine over-suppressed my thyroid, so there’s still hope that my thyroid meds could clear things up, but she seemed open to the idea that I’m experiencing long-term finasteride side effects (that meant a lot to me). Still, she wants me to get my blood re-tested soon just so to make sure.

I told her that there had been some other symptoms I was afraid to share because I was worried she’d think I was crazy. She assured me that she didn’t think that and I told her about how my penis changed shape and how it’s hard-flaccidy. She did a physical examination and noted the hardness and it’s leftward curvature. She said felt some funny business at the base and she thinks it could be early Peyronie’s disease, but she added that she’s not an expert. I don’t think it is PD, but I’m certainly not an expert either. I think she’s started the referral process so hopefully I’ll soon be able to see a urologist who specializes in PD, and maybe they (or someone they can refer me to) can help me.

I got severe PFS from regenepure DR shampoo that contains ketokonzole the same ingredient in nizoral stay the fuck away from that shit!

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Like I said, I already gave it up. I’m a little worried because I started using it around the same time I started fin and only gave it up a month ago

Well, it’s been a little over a year since my last dose and I’m still afflicted. My thinking has gotten less optimistic. I used to hope that I’d be healthy again soon but now I’m just hoping that a little bit of Cialis is all I’ll need to pass for normal.

I can barely remember how sexually functional I used to be, and I try not to remember because it makes me sad. I’m considering trying tribulus or something because I really want to be healthy again.

I’d strongly advise against using that particular substance. One of our members substantially worsened their condition by using it.

I thought being helpless and libido-free was the worst thing you could have. Tribulus led me to regret your situation. To date my penis has almost completely disappeared (but I don’t think about it anymore), my bones have lost mineralization, my joints are tremendous and my tendons are worn out. On a neurological level it is hell, I don’t even remember how my face is made or how I am combed. All this was not there before tribulus. As I see it, there are people on this forum who don’t really have PFS, but only paranoia, which is why tribulus works for them. If you really suffer from PFS, tribulus is the worst enemy.

Just writing my story here, Do not Taper by using days
I started to taper in post after 31 days after I thought I was crashing only to realise I just extremely anxious.
After going on to 0.125 mg every four days I truly crashed. I am completely impotent, have complete insomnia and having strong visions of hurting myself. My experience tells me that you should never take a single pill as it could end your life. I have lost complete touch with reality. My family told me not to taper in post but I didn’t listen to them and I will be eternally regretful. I have been taking fin on and off for 5 years however this is unbearable.

I am a user from Devon in the Uk and have so much respect for the people who struggle with this, I don’t know if I can deal with this for much more.

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Hey @BibFortuna,

Your symtoms are very similar to mine. I took topical propecia for 6 months, quit at the beginning of the month. Since then, my morning wood is soft, my penis senzitivity is altered, watery semen and I sometimes struggle to have an erection. Are there any supplements or other things which you have tried?

I’m currently taking beetroot extract, which is supposed to improve blood flow. I’m not sure if it’s helping, but it certainly hasn’t hurt either.

I also tried some amino acids (L-Arginine, L-Carnitine, and L-Glutamine), but I gave them up because I was worried about them conflicting with my levothyroxine and also because of the cost of buying them and the inconvenience of taking two-dozen pills a day. However, I’m thinking about trying them again.

Update: saw a urologist today. Described all my symptoms and told him it all started after taking fin. He was familiar with post-finasteride syndrome but seemed skeptical that it was real (said nothing has come out of medical literature to support its existence, I mentioned that there is some emerging medical literature about it and he conceded that it could be a thing).
In any case, he was like “Well, if it is pfs/damaged androgen receptors, then I don’t think there’s anything that can be done.” I asked for a cialis prescription and a referral to an endocrinologist. He agreed to both, but it will probably be a couple months before I can see an endo. Also, he felt up my dick and said there was no scar tissue, so at least I don’t have Peyronie’s.

Another update: popped my first cialis pill last night. Got a monster boner (but it took some work). That aside, it feels so good to not have erection maintenance be a constant uphill battle. Was a little disappointed I didn’t wake up w/ wood the next morning, but I got a good erection shortly after waking up so that’s good enough I guess. My glans didn’t get fully engorged like the night before, but I’m still happy with what I got.
I was prescribed 5 mg pills, but I split my first one and it seems to be enough to do the trick, so it also feels good to save money by only having to take half a pill every three days. Also, God Bless GoodRX. I only had to pay $18 for the prescription when it would’ve cost upwards of $300 (i think closer to $400) otherwise,

Mini-update: the effects didn’t last as long as I hoped they would. I’ll probably get around to trying a whole pill soon.

Mini-update 2: Also, Cialis has been more effective some times than others. I feel like the times they’ve been most effective were the days I went to bed a little hungry (i.e. almost completely empty stomach to allow for maximum absorption). In any case, I most certainly will be trying 5mg soon. I’ve kinda experienced this with ADHD pills, where a small dose is initially effective but wears off but I’ve been able to find higher doses that remained effective. By this I mean that I’m (trying to be) confident that 5mg will be all I need. Also, I think I might look into cycling ED pills and supplements.

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Update for anyone who cares: I’ve mentioned before that I was going to see a doctor about getting tested for entamoeba histolytica. I met with the doc, he was very receptive and ordered a hormone panel for testosterone, estradiol, prolactin, FSH, and LH, and also threw in testing for histolytica and candida at my request. Unfortunately, this whole coronavirus thing has thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into my plans. I saw the doctor in my college town and was planning on getting tested in my hometown since my college closed down and went online-only. The blood lab I went to hadn’t received the order yet and I’ve been distracted/busy since then (I’m even procrastinating as I type this out). The earliest I’ll find time for testing is Monday the 6th, maybe Tuesday instead.

We do care, please keep updating us on your progress.

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GUESS WHO FINALLY GOT THEIR RESULTS BACK.

Nothing too eventful, though. I didn’t have any signs of parasitic infection. Apparently my Vitamin D was abysmal. Doc suggested I start supplementing and it will be good for energy but not erectile dysfunction. Free T was within range but suboptimal. The test didn’t include total T or SHBG so the Doc ordered another panel. He said he’ll call me when he gets the results and suggested I start supplementing with L-Carnitine to boost my testosterone.

The doctor also offered PRP injections. He said that it entails getting a shot a month for three months and then the results should last for 12-18 months. He said that he’s only been doing them for about a year and a half, but that he’s seen great results that have lasted for 12 months. Downside is that it’s $500 per injection. Also, I’m worried about injections causing scar tissue.

I’ll probably give the supplements a try, but I’m not expecting much. I’m thinking about going to see Dr. Goldstein in San Diego, but I don’t know what he could offer that this doctor didn’t.

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Someone asked me to post my test results. Is it really that important?

Minor update: got my follow-up test done. Total T was slightly above average (~700) and Free T was about average (~120). This matches up with the testing I had done around late January '19, when I was fairly fresh off of fin.

Doc told me he was planning on getting a GAINSWave machine and opined that it would likely be good for my symptoms (the physical ones, at least). However, he said it costs 30-35k and since we don’t exactly live in a bustling urban center then he’ll have to charge a pretty penny to make his money back. However, he did add that he was looking into getting a similar, more affordable machine.

I asked him to also look into Dr. Goldstein in San Diego, and Dr. Will Powers and his progesterone protocol. He agreed to and promised to keep in touch.

Saw the doc again recently. I’ve gained 20 lbs (up to 160 from 140 earlier this year). That’s probably on me though, not the fin. I’ve been drinking and eating like shit for the past few months. I need to get my shit together. Anyway, on to more important things.

Doc told me that he had contacted Dr. Powers’ office and they explained the logic of using progesterone (I can’t remember the explanation so don’t ask me what it was). He’s very willing to prescribe it to me but the downside is that since this is an off-label use, then we’ll have to start with a small dose and work our way up and tinker. I mentioned that taking it rectally allegedly increases absorption - I’m pretty sure Dr. Powers himself said that - but his office said nothing about it. I’ll probably give this one a shot soon but I need to figure out which end it’s going in.

I mentioned some other protocols I was interested in and he seems very willing to research them. One noteworthy one is HCG, but the FDA has apparently withdrawn it, making it very hard to acquire as none of his usual suppliers sell it anymore.

Another one includes the notorious methylprednisolone treatment. The doc was intrigued (or maybe perplexed would be more accurate) about how that might work. This one has a couple of harsh downsides. One, it’s very expensive. 5g (the amount that anonymous1968 took) will cost more than $800. Also, he’ll have to charge me for the infusion itself and he said that he thinks he remembers methylprednisolone being one of the ones that took longer to infuse. The other downside is that methyl steroids come with all sorts of nasty side effects of their own. He said that in his experience, patients are guaranteed to experience at least one side effect and opined that some of them are worse than what I’m dealing with now. I’m still open-minded to it, but it’s going on the backburner for now.

Minor update: I’ve finally started taking vitamin D, 125 mcg/5000 IU. I did tell my doc that I was worried it would be too much and could backfire, but he said to go ahead and take it daily, and we’ll retest my levels in 8 weeks. He also said he was going to reach out to Dr. Will Powers’ office for some more guidance, so I’ll probably be starting progesterone soon.

Another minor update: I recently started that protocol where you beat your meat 3-5 times a day. It’s a mixed bag so far. On the one hand, I feel like I’m more likely to wake up with night/morning wood, and to get natural erections during the day. On the other hand, it’s a lot harder to get full erections because my body seems to always be in a refractory period. I think I’m going to try to persevere with this protocol for now.

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