My long and winding road of sexual dysfunction

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)?


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?)


What is your current age, height, weight?

37, 6’1", 185

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

Finasteride, trazodone

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

1 mg/day of propecia, 50-100 mg trazodone

What condition was being treated with the drug?

propecia: male pattern baldness/trazodone: insomnia

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

propecia: 2 years/trazodone: 10 days

Date when you started the drug?

propecia: 2007

Date when you quit the drug?

propecia: 2009

Age when you quit?

24 years old

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

Cold turkey

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

2 years

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

reduced energy, depression, sexual dysfunction, genital numbness, pelvic floor dysfunction, dry eyes/skin.

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.

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

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

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

[x] Prostate pain
[x] 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)

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

Zinc, vits c d and e, magnesium, wellbutrin, shockwave treatment, water fasting, cialis, synthroid.

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)?

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.

I was originally on here in 2011 after having “recovered” from PFS. My former name was “fuckfin”. If anyone wants to check that story out in its entirety it’s here, but I’m going to summarize again below:

I took propecia for 2 years until I realized that I was experiencing unwanted sexual side effects, namely ED. I went off propecia cold turkey and waited for things to return. They never did. I became incredibly hormonal and upset at the slightest things, my relationship fell apart, and I was hopelessly depressed. All of this at age 24, thinking I had absolutely no future. This was 13 years ago.

I tried vitamins and exercise, which helped. But the thing that helped the most was finding a new girlfriend (now my wife), and using synthroid and Viagra when we attempted to have sex. I found a doctor named Dr. Buxton, an endocrinologist in Marin County, CA, who listened to my story and believed me (such a relief during this time when not a lot of doctors did), and tried me on Synthroid in an attempt to raise my hormone levels, and gave me the Viagra, too.

When I first started being sexually active again after getting PFS, my entire body’s relationship to sex changed fundamentally. I used to get an erection just being near a woman, and certainly would be ready to go if we were in bed together. In fact, I had the opposite problem before PFS; I could orgasm 4-5 times in one session, and just keep going and going. After PFS, navigating sex again was very strange, but I learned to adapt and ended up having a relatively healthy and normal sex life. My girlfriend and I fell in love and we are still together today, though now married.

Things were pretty good from 2010–2019. I did have a period where I was a little less than satisfied with things in the bedroom, and at Buxton’s suggestion, tried Wellbutrin. But it made me hypersexual-- so much so that I couldn’t do much of anything else except think about sex. I must have masturbated 4x a day during this time. My dosage was 150 mg a day. I ended up stopping after a few months, it was just too much. .

Flash forward to 2019, I ended up taking trazodone for sleep (during a trip to Italy to ward off the jet lag), having no idea it was used as an anti-depressant. I literally thought it was a sleeping pill like ambien. Had I known, I wouldn’t have come anywhere near it, as I know about PSSD and its similarities to PFS. I know that trazodone isn’t a typical SSRI, but an SARI. But whatever it is, it completely screwed me. While I was in Italy I didn’t notice it much, but once we got home and I didn’t have the distraction of being on vacation, it was clear as day. My penis sensitivity was gone, I couldn’t get erections, etc.

I had a total nervous breakdown over this. I could not believe that I had so casually taken this drug, that I had survived my experience with propecia only to get hit with this new crisis, etc, and that I had done it myself. Not only that, but the trazadone gave me persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) for a few months, and premature ejaculation, and did a serious number on my pelvic floor. Basically, it made my entire reproductive system go haywire. The PGAD was one of the worst things I’ve experienced in my entire life. Suicidal ideation was there. I spent many months crying everyday and in pain. It was a terrifying rollercoaster ride of symptoms that would go away just to come back the next day. I remember saying a lot during this time that I just wished things would just even out, because the up and down from one day to the next was so emotionally overwhelming.

Things eventually did settle down, but what was left from the wreckage was nothing to be happy about. I didn’t have PGAD or premature ejaculation anymore, but I did have increased genital numbness, pelvic floor dysfunction, and worsened ED. This was my new state of being.

To combat this, the first major thing I tried was a 7 day water fast. This was in 2020. Incredibly, it did help with constant headaches (I was taking advil daily to reduce this), the fatigue, inflammation, and depression. It did also somewhat help with the ED. Then in 2021, I saw a pelvic floor physical therapist, and also saw Dr. Goldstein in San Diego. I was diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain syndrome by the PT and by a urologist. The CPPS is probably from the propecia and the trazodone usage, plus I was also sexually abused at age 6, and many people with pelvic floor dysfunction have this in their past, interestingly enough. It’s like we learn to hold all of our stress and anxiety in our pelvic floor. Anyways, the pelvic floor therapy has been very beneficial for me. Meanwhile, Goldstein diagnosed me with poor blood flow to penis and tissue damage. He gave me shockwave therapy and put me on daily cialis. The shockwave therapy helped for a couple of months. The cialis I still use daily (20 mg) and sometimes I bump it up to 40 or 60 mg if I think I may have sex that night. Just like I did with propecia, I had to learn how to use this new body in the world of sex again. Luckily my wife is incredibly compassionate and patient, and has been a rock for me through this. We have adapted our sex life in ways that work for both of us. With cialis I am able to have penetrative sex and enjoy it. Sometimes we just do other stuff and there’s no penetration because I don’t feel that I’m capable and would rather avoid the despair. I am thinking about all of this less and less and moving on with my life. But the lack of energy from PFS, the low hormone levels, insomnia, and the depression are still there. Therapy has helped a lot, same with exercise. And I recently begun working with a former fellow of Goldstein’s, Dr. Joshua Gonzalez, a urologist, who has been very encouraging of me trying out Clomid and Arimidex for my energy, sleep and sexual health. I may give it a try soon, but want to do more research first.

So that’s my story more or less, leading up to this last couple of weeks. And this is what brings me back here after all of this time. I came down with COVID on June 18th. I just reached my 2 week anniversary of showing symptoms/a positive test. I am very concerned that I have experienced some reduction in erection strength and sensation after having COVID. I know there are studies that show a connection between COVID and ED. I will describe more on this in a post in the general discussion section, but this is why I’m back. I’m pretty depressed right now over this and looking for some help.

Thank you for reading this, as always.


  1. Name of the therapy/substance:
    • Dosage:
    • How often you took it:
  2. Status
    • Still using [ ]
    • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [ ]
    • Stopped with persistent change to symptoms [ ]
  3. Duration of use: Days [ ] Months [ ] Years [ ]
  4. Response when you started:
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  5. 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 [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  6. Lasting changes to initial symptoms after cessation (if you have stopped for more than 3 weeks)
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
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