Hi there. Im 47 years old and took finasteride for only 16 days. Been off of it now for over 3 weeks and still have penile numbness and little sensitivity . Has anyone ever recovered from this and is there anything that i can take to resolve this? Very frustrated
It’s been over 4 years and this has been my worst symptom. Only improved ever so slightly…like 5-10%.
Best thing to do is see a doctor on this list and try experimental treatments: https://www.pfsfoundation.org/pfs-medical-professionals/
Otherwise good luck reading thousands of posts to find a needle in a haystack…there is no cure.
Can you feel your orgasm?
I wouldn’t be as pessimistic as my former poster…
If genital numbness is your only symptom, there might be a very big chance for you to naturally recover (Really dude, forget all doctors, all supplements, or sketchy recovery stories)…
It appears that older dudes somehow are less prone to PFS (At least from my readings, but ofc have nothing to back it with, but i would assume that there would be lots more pfs if guys with enlarged prostate get it that easily)…
6 years ago as i tried Saw palmetto (Before fin), i did have numbness that persisted long before it naturally resolved. It was my only symptoms, and wasn’t accompanied with any other, like anxiety, insomnia etc…
Keep your hopes up, AND PLEASE COME BACK TO TELL US IF YOU RECOVER, as most guys seem to go away
Im 2,5 years in since crash and penile sensation has gone to worse little by little. Its around 0,3-1/10 scale at this point. So basicly it feels nothing, no sexual feeling what so ever. My finasteride intake period was about 11 years, I am 39 years now. Over a year ago I used letrozole and after cessation of the drug penile sensation and libido worked for one day. So the hormonal balance must have been near optimal on that day. After that the sensation have just gone worse little by little.
Can you guys still get erections? I wouldn’t care about loss of sensation if it at least got hard.
Yes, it also causes hard time to maintain erections, I only got restoration after my aromasin trial. Because of warnings I dropped aromasin.
I am on cabergoline now and have mild restoration on sensation.
Definitely no it is the major problem effects relationships.
I got a solution for Ed with cabergoline but, it is only mildly helping on sensation.
Thanks for this information.
I’ve had penile numbness for 7 years and it hasn’t improved. Not trying to be a downer, but imho people saying to just give it time are engaging in avoidant and/or wishful thinking. Furthermore, doctors have no better idea than we do because doctors can really only go by what research says and our problem hasn’t really been researched yet. I expect no improvement in anyone here until the community finds a way to assemble itself behind getting serious research going. Since you have only had it for 3 weeks, however, in your case it’s probably not PFS but rather just side effects of Finasteride. Most peoples side effects go away in a few months. PFS is when they don’t, which is a small minority.
Couldn’t agree more…With each week passes by without improvement the chances of natural recovery become very slim, but most people with acute on set multiple symptoms known as the crash (Combination of horror anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, and Getnial numbness) seem to have the worst cards from day one of the crash (No one ever really recovered, unless ofcourse guys who literally won the lottery in another life)
I feel that the generic response to newly reported cases offered by mods along the lines of ‘very few people get permanent symptoms’ and ‘just relax, eat healthy, take it easy and wait’ is more for the benefit of easing the shock revelation to the new sufferer and offering them some level of hope so that they can slowly begin to come to terms with their ‘new normal’.
I have been off finasteride now for 7 years and unfortunately haven’t recovered any sensation to the penis. It still feels completely numb at the tip. It has become my new normal. At 2 years post-finasteride I began to recover soft erections and weak ejaculations (small ejaculate volume, weak contractions). The only thing that has helped ever so slightly with the sensation and orgasmic pleasure has been using periodic Cialis. Extra blood flow makes the lack of sensation (and my lack of libido) less unbearable. By about 5-1/2 years I began to have some decent erections with more regularity and the ejaculation was more forceful and more volumes, albeit without orgasmic sensory pleasure. So I am at least able to have intercourse now 75% of the time. This combined with a good acting job helps (ie I have pretend I have libido and into sex!). The presence of severe anhedonia, pleasureless ejaculations, and genital anesthesia suggests to me that the dopaminergic pleasure-reward pathway tracts were most likely damaged by the finasteride. Drug addicts who chronically abuse drugs such as meth and cause substantial dopaminergic neuronal loss in the pleasure-reward pathway suffer the same symptoms. It is my belief that if recovery is to happen it will be natural process (like recovering from a stroke) rather than taking supplements or risky manipulations with hormonal treatments.
Thanks for your update, @sfoch.
If only we could investigate this in the brains of sufferers.
Have you tried taking any drugs to improve the anhedonia?
Ya my dick numbness is like 90% gone but if fluctuates
Thanks for sharing your assessment. Do you by any chance have anything I could read about former drug addicts having these kinds of residual sexual effects? I would love to check that out. By the way, I also have relatively recently been trying to accept this as “new normal” and having sex again by being an actor. It does work at least short term. It’s possible to have sex without partners really realizing there’s something wrong. There’s a pretty heavy psychological cost to faking desire, though. It makes you feel manipulative and dishonest. I also don’t know how sustainable it is in the going unnoticed aspect. At one point or another I believe the lover realizes you are not initiating sex normally and something is missing in the two people as one aspect of sexual connection.
There is neuroimaging research into anhedonia and consistent with my take, it implicates the pleasure-reward pathway and dopaminergic pathways (In healthy controls, a diminished responsiveness to positive and rewarding stimuli in the nucleus accumbens and the anterior cingulate [19, 20], as well as a reduced nucleus accumbens and caudate nucleus volume [18, 20, 21] have been shown to be associated with (physical) anhedonia. This I would suspect would be replicated in a study of PFS sufferers.
Yes I trialed many prescription medications (including but not limited to adrenergic, dopaminergic, serotonergic agonists and testosterone gel) and supplements (including but not limited to yohimbine, MACA, Tribulus, etc…). I tried psychological approaches (meditation, therapy, even attempts to hypnoses). I took travel work so I could travel the country seeing specialists. Indeed there are no known treatments for anhedonia outside of it as a component of major depressive disorder (i.e. for people who start with depression and develop anhedonia, treating the depression makes the anhedonia resolve). There are studies, for example, with vortioxetine that showed improvement on the anhedonia parameter, but again this is a drug that treats depression and risks SSRI/SNRI-type apathy and sexual dysfunction. For me most trials ended up making the symptoms worse or resulted in unbearable side effects as such those just noted. Yohimbine for example led to significant tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, and neurological symptoms (it almost caused me to panic, something I have never experienced). It did not help with anhedonia at all. Noradrenergic-dopaminergic drugs like bupropion and its relatives helped with the low energy and attention/concentration I developed with PFS but it did not help anhedonia at all. When I trialed SSRIs/SNRIs they helped me with the dysphoria, insomnia, and anxiety but caused excruciating apathy and noticeable weight gain/bloating without benefit for anhedonia. Parkinson’s meds which enhance dopamine also were ineffective. I haven’t tried ketamine which has worked for some and quickly. I should ad for completeness that I am fit, doing regular cardio (hiking, biking, tennis at advanced level), lift in gym 2-3x per week, have been a healthy eater much of my life, and have no diseases of western man (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, etc…). I have regular social relationships with friends, family, and girlfriend of 5 yrs. I have hobbies and passions but these are difficult to enjoy and do with the anhedonia. I am employed and make a good living wage. I am not a drug user. I am not part of any lawsuit to Merck or anyone else. If neurostimulation therapies such as TMS or related can be directed to these pleasure-reward areas (such as nucleus accumbens), I would be willing to participate in the research.
Yes I agree with that assessment. I was unable to fake desire well enough with previous relationships during the first years after PFS because the women would figure out I was just simply not that into them and certainly never really wanting to initiate physical intimacy (“What is wrong with you? There is a woman lying next to you!”, one girlfriend finally said to me; it was humiliating. Another girlfriend accused me of being gay and not out of the closet.). I didn’t mention that I was a formerly very sexual and passionate guy who loved to hug and kiss women (i.e. normal guy). An ex-GF recently told me I was one of her best lover’s in the past. So you get how that feels. After PFS I don’t like to be touched or hugged which really ads an additional layer of challenge in a relationship. I have managed to hold onto the current relationship but the anhedonia is killing me for sure (even more than the sexual dysfunction). I think how things would have been had I still been normal. I certainly feel guilty that I cannot give more. But I am a human being like you are and we have to do our best in life even if it is not perfect. If I don’t act, I will be alone again and time waits for no one.
In your case 16 days on finasteride is better than 16 years. It may take 3-6 months but there is hope. For long term users the recovery rate is probably much lower as there was more damage to the pleasure-reward pathway and neurological damage is slow to recovery whether is diabetic neuropathy or vascular insult to the brain. I wouldn’t lose hope. Did you recover other functions okay?
Thank you for updating us all after such a long time away @sfoch. Members of this community often wonder what happened to older accounts which haven’t seen activity for a long time.
While you’re here, are you aware of our Post-Drug Syndrome Patient Survey? Your participation would be much valued, particularly as you’ve been living with the disease for such a long period.
The data gathered so far has already generated interest from some world leading scientists/researchers. The more data entrants we have, the stronger our case and the likelier we will receive the interest and funding our problem so desperately needs.
Just want to share here that I too suffer 8 years now with minimal pleasure feeling. I feel the term sensitivity needs to be distinguished or clarified here though. There’s sensitivity in the sense with if you can feel sensations on the skin of the penis (such as a pinch, scratch, or tickle) VS the feeling you get within the penis when masturbating or having sex. I will say that I get brief recoveries with the first but not the latter. I can feel things on the surface of my penis but it is not pleasurable to masturbate or have sex and I can not feel my orgasm usually. The only times where I feel that I get a little improvement is when I smoke marijuana and consecutively masturbate. For some reason things feel better the more I have masturbated on days like those and there seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of semen expelled and how good it feels. Just some observations I’ve made over the last years. Draw what conclusions you will about what might be going on