This is an accutane story, and I apologize for putting this in the propecia forum, but I think the suffering is quite similar, from what I’ve read.
I took accutane for a month in December of 1994, and started experiencing erectile dysfunction and low libido in March of 1995. I didn’t make the connection then because I was ignorant. I was with a girlfriend of 2 years, and suddenly lost all libido, I can still remember the exact week even though it was 15 years ago. For two years, I passed off the problem as psychological, and continued with my life in a depressed and confused state. As my life continued slowly fall apart, I finally saw a general practitioner and had a blood panel done (DHT wasn’t an issue then for doctors, even urologists). Test levels at the time were considered within normal range.
In 1997, I went to see a urologist in Boston who specialized in erectile dysfunction. He couldn’t determine a cause, and theorized that problems were most likely psychological. On a seemingly unrelated note, he recommended I have a skin bridge removed from the glans penis, remaining from circumcision. I had the procedure done, not expecting it have any effect on my problems. Three days after the surgery, I had a spontaneous erection for the first time in two years. This lasted only about two weeks. After reading the post on procaine/demthylizing agents and DHT/5-AR, I now wonder if the localized lidocaine in the penis may have affected DHT levels to the point where erections were possible for a short period of time.
In 2000, I went to see Dr. Irwin Goldstein in Boston, who at time was already a noted urologist specializing in sexual health. After a battery of tests, he diagnosed me with perineal arterial blockage, and recommended bypass surgery. Long story short, I had the surgery, and while it accomplished to goals that were set out regarding blood flow, I still had no libido. In 2002, I returned to see Dr. Goldstein, and this time we decided to go the hormonal route with DHEA supplementation, without results. I then went to Whitaker Wellness Clinic (naturopathic doctors) in the Los Angeles area, where I was eventually prescribed HCG.
I injected HCG for a month, and it raised my total testosterone to 1500. Erections and libido were still nonexistant,so I stopped using the HCG. Although I didn’t think anything of it at the time, my skin was oily for the first time since 1995 (was this a good sign, that DHT levels had also been raised?) Immediately afterwards, I began taking herbal supplements from a website called actionlove (incidentally, one of the first places I noticed talking about DHT, 5-AR, propecia, accutane and erectile dysfunction/low libido in 2005). One month after taking the supplements, I suddenly had full erections and normal ejaculations for a few days, and then things regressed. I continued taking the supplements for quite a long time afterwards, with no effect. I now wonder if my body needed a month to process the hormonal changes that HCG caused, thus allowing me to have normal erection/ejaculation for a few days.
For the next few years, I concentrated on food nutrition to try to heal my body, not knowing the cause. Now I am 36, and have been trying to live a muted life as a hermit/monk while working in a nondescript job. Recent thoughts of suicide (not to be dramatic) drove me to do more research on DHT/5-AR connection and get blood tests done through privatemdlabs.com (after 15 years, I never had really addressed low DHT levels, although results over the years had shown extremely low levels). Here are the results:
total T 447 (280-800)
free T 19.67 (5-21)
LH 2.8 (1.7-8.6)
FSH 4.4 (1.5-12.4)
DHT 23 (30-85)
Total T has been around this number for about 15 years, don’t know what it was before taking accutane. Free T is high for some reason. DHT is very low, and has always been in the few times I’ve had it tested in 15 years. I should have had estradiol and SHGB tested, but to be honest, I was only concerned with DHT levels.
Needless to say, I was crushed when I saw the DHT results. I’m scared to death that my condition is permanent and that I’ll have to continue live out my life in this horrible state. I’ve made an appointment to see Dr. Goldstein again (he’s now in San Diego) to see if I can try HCG again.
Thanks for reading my story. Does anyone have experience with with low T/very low DHT being remedied through HCG use? I’m under the impression that very low DHT suggests that 5-AR conversion of testosterone to DHT is destroyed–but if anyone has any information, I’d appreciate it.