Persisting penile sensitivity / numbness issues



I have just come across this site while trying to research my problem, I wish I had read it before!

I Quit Propecia in mid April due to sensitivity reduction in my penis and reduced ejaculate. I was on Propecia for 18 months, inconsistently over the last 6 months in an attempt to control my problems.

After 2-3 weeks of quitting, my libido / sensitivity returned to high levels, but have subsequently dropped and remain low with occasional surges lasting 3-4 days. The most recent surge was last week however it has dropped and not recovered since the weekend. During this surge, I felt back to normal (pre Propecia), the sensitivity especially around the head area was very high and my ejaculate seems normal, it was not runny and was high in volume.

I am concerned that I did not take hormone tests before starting Propecia or since quitting, therefore I do not have a baseline to go by. I have started taking multivitamins which include zinc and fish oil capsules (this week). I have also increased my exercise regime (last 2 weeks) in an attempt to resolve a potential testosterone issue.

I am becoming increasingly anxious and confused over this problem. I thought my sensitivity would return to normal after quitting especially after 2.5 months, I find it strange that I have had a couple of surges since quitting. It proves to me that everything still works as it used to (morning / spontaneous erections) but it was short lived.

During my reduced sensitivity, I have refrained from sex/masturbation for 2-3 days to test whether the sensitivity returns to high levels, and while slightly elevated, it is nothing like normal sensitivity. I have no problems achieving or maintaining an erection and becoming aroused, the problem is this numbness.

I am trying to collate as much information as I can from this and other forums, and I am in need of some assistance.

Is it too early for me to see a doctor about this problem? It has been roughly 2.5 months since I quit. I have made some improvements in this time.

My recovery rate between sex/masturbation has improved while on Propecia I could only masturbate once a day there would be a prolonged lack of sensitivity and unnatural soreness in my penis preventing me from going again. The soreness is no longer a problem.

Also The surges in libido/sensitivity I described have had make me wonder if I am recovering? I could not find examples of how long it takes to recover by yourself from Propecia side effects on the forums, I guess once you have recovered there is little need to come back.

Is there any UK based doctors (London preferably) that anyone can recommend. As I mentioned I do not have a baseline so I imagine it would take a doctor with experience of treating this problem to at least understand what I am facing.

Thanks in advance and I will keep updates on my progress for anyone else in a similar situation



This is a common scenario for some of the guys that quit and subsequently have issues, myself included. My guess is the body is trying to re-establish homeostasis and can’t quite figure out where it used to be.

This is good for general health but I doubt it will make a significant impact to your numbness situation… supplementing up to 50mg zinc a day may aid slightly with libido, however, as others have reported it has worked for them. Be sure to take 2mg of copper if you add more zinc, as Zinc will deplete copper from the body (do some research).

There are of course other herbs and such that claim to aid with Erectile Dysfunction/blood flow/Peyronie’s Disease, view the Natural Treatments section of this forum.

Yes, it seems things still work as they used to for lots of guys… the problem is getting things back to working 100%, consistently, all the time.

I am still numb to the touch along my penis shaft and scrotum and I’ve been off for 20 months. When I first came off my penis/balls were tingling. Over the past 20 months the numbness has improved somewhat, but really, nowhere near how it was before Fin. Touching my penis just doesn’t give pleasureable feelings like before the drug, it just feels like I’m touching skin on my arm.

Some possible theories:

  1. the genitals are rife with androgen receptors. Finasteride down-regulates androgen receptors. Perhaps by blocking 5AR-II via Fin, I decreased or essentially down-regulated them so much that a) there aren’t enough androgen receptors there anymore or b) they weren’t in use for so long that they basically “died” (is this possible? don’t know) or don’t work as well as they used to any longer, or c) Finasteride caused an actual mutation in the androgen receptor DNA and thus it cannot operate in the same manner as before the drug… leading to androgen insensitivity syndrome (not sure if this is possible after birth) – these are just my own personal hypotheses.

  2. Lack of androgens thanks to Finasteride, and lack of morning/nocturnal/spontaneous erections as a result of Fin use caused genital tissue changes including collagen deposits and fibrosis, similar to mild Peyronie’s Disease.

  3. DHT mediates NO (nitric oxide) production. Fin-induced DHT reduction means reduced NO. Reduced NO can lead to possible vascular/erection problems… hence why Viagra (an NO booster) works so well for men with Erectile Dysfunction.

  4. Finasteride reduces DHT by shrinking the Prostate. As you can read at the top of this forum, men who undergo radical prostatectomy (prostate removal) for prostate cancer often have penile shrinkage and loss of sensitivity. The connection therefore seems logical that Finasteride may induce a similar type of issue (and many men have experienced penile shrinkage thanks to Fin), since it is in effect shrinking the prostate and related nerves that connect to the penis via cell aptosis (death, ie similar to prostate removal in a way).

  5. Neurotransmitter connection - many men that have taken and discontinued SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – antidepressants) have similar symptoms as some of us, ie genital numbness, loss of libido, ED, etc. Since Finasteride blocks various other 5AR-reduced metabolites (ie THDOC, Dihydroprogesterone, Allopregnanolone etc) and has been found itself to cross the blood brain barrier, there is the possibility that there could be neurological issues involved as well. The most likely therapy would be to target Dopamine and try and boost its production, which may aid with libido, ED and possibly sensitivity.

You can view the numerous studies on this site about what a lack of androgens can do to penile tissue, particuraly the “Effects of androgen deprivation on penile ultrastructure” study in the Finasteride Studies section.

Yes, no need to panic yet, however I would get the hormone profile done ASAP so you can see what is happening with your body… the sooner after you quit fin, the better.

Also have you read the FAQ at the top of this forum yet? Answers some details on recovery time frame – could be weeks, months… sometimes a year or more but no guarantees… and not everybody recovers 100% to how they were before the drug, it seems… although there is medical therapies to be tried if this is the case (clomid, hCG, TRT etc) and some have had success… the issue is finding knowledgeable doctors that will believe your case and know what they are doing when trying to restart the HTPA/administer these treatments.

I do not know, I am not from the UK but others may have some answers. Also check the Doctors & Lawyers section, or do a keyword search of the forum (its CaSe sensitive).


Thanks for your reply.

I am shocked and sad to see this is still a problem for you 20 months later.

how long were you on propecia for?


My story is in the Member Stories section, and my hormones in the Hormone & Blood Tests section. I’ll let you do the reading.



Found the following post about penile numbness/loss of sensitivity on Google Groups ( … 7d5b9319c7

Start at the top, read through… at the bottom you’ll see this guy followed Dr Shippen’s Estrogen Management protocol which he claims restored his sensitivity.

Here is the quote:

"> Hormone problems. Low testosterone, high estradiol, high prolactin can all cause this.

[i]Following a few blood tests it would seem I have low T (around 500) and high estradiol (around 47) for a 38 year old.

I have been following Shippen’s estrogen management basic protocol (3grams Vitamin C and 100mg Zinc daily) for the last 2-3 weeks and I have noticed a marked improvement in penile sensitivity and quality of erections (more sustainable and harder).

I mentioned this to my partner that the improvement in sensitivity is so noticeable that makes it seem like my penis has been numb for years." [/i]

Personally I think taking more than 50mg of zinc for an extended period of time isn’t the safest idea, but I believe Shippen advocates 100mg only for 2 weeks, then dropping down to 50mg from that point forward. Ensure 2mg of copper is taken with any additional Zinc.


Thanks again for the information Mew, I have just come back from holiday where I started taking daily multivitamin tablets (Wellman) they include 15mg of Zinc / 1mg copper / 60mg vitC / 30mg L-Carnitine as well as a host of others. I have also started taking daily fish oil capsules.

I was fretting about the sensitivity for the first couple of days, especially after the previous surge, then all of a sudden my sensitivity returned! I noticed as I was falling asleep. This was encouraging especially as it was just over a week since my most recent surge (hopefully they will be getting more frequent).

Again, the sensitivity lasted roughly 4 days, gradually declining to the numbness I feel now.

I do not feel I can attribute the surge directly to the multivits and fish oil. During my this time I was excersising daily (weight training and cardio) and eating with recomendation from this board (brocolli, chicken etc…)

I have a feeling that the resistance training was of greatest benifit. I am off to the gym today to see If I can notice any increase. During the the surge I did feel like more vitalized, perhaps an indication of more testosterone?

I have not had a chance to make an appointment with the doctor, but will be doing so shortly. I wonder if increasing my Zinc intake (100mg) might be benificial as it has been for others.

I am also interested in the brocolli treatment and may do that in addition to excersise and the multivits / fish oil.

Has anyone tried the combination of excercise / zinc / fish oil and brocolli treatment? is it safe to do all together I assume so but will also run it past my doctor.




I have been talking to two naturopathic doctors lately. They both say a month of high zinc supplementation is fine without copper.
Also, I have read that intensive exercise, and running can actually exacerbate prostate issues. So walking may be better.
I would suggest a 2-3 hour/day walk, personally, as this is what has helped me get better. I usually go at night. You must stay as relaxed as possible though, and try to focus on letting this fall from you. I know, I know, it sound foofy, but still, just try to do it. Sometimes it can be just persistent inflammation, which you may not even feel, but can last for long periods of time, until if you can just get the inflammation to go down for long enough, the blockages can clear and heal quickly.
Didn’t you say you were feeling better when on vacation or a trip away from stress??
I have been studying the prostate for the last few weeks.
I’m telling you this is mostly a prostate issue for most of us. But thats ok, you all can try whatever you want (just because I know I’m gonna get criticism).
After today you may not hear much of me for a few months. I will be traveling. I will be back for only a week in August. Good luck to all you guys, my compadres!
Just think of this. The penis is an integral par tof a man, it rarely fails. This can bounce back in all you guys. You just gotta get rid of the infection, and quit sitting around, just so things (blockages) do not calcify. That is the only biggest risk! I swear to you, just believe me! Before things get worse for you!
I’m telling you!
Mew, and others will criticize me to no end! But this is what I believe. I have been talking to all kinds of doctors, and looking into the prostate for weeks now, and this is what it is for me, and again probably for most of you other guys.

I’ll tell you, a way to find out if you are having prostate blockages, if you are still not convinced, try to find someone to give you a 15-20 minute prostate massage. Not vigorous or injuring, but enough to get things moving. If things "flare-up, your symptoms, then you know something is wrong.

Again, good luck to all you guys.
Just remember! The prostate is the main sex organ/gland in the man. The penis is not even really considered a sex organ, its mostly the prostate, and testicles, but the prostate is the center of it all. The center of the neurotransmission, the signals, the blood flow, biochemical/hormone pathways, that control all of your sexual function to your dick and orgasm. It is the most important and number one primary piece of this entire feedback loop.

When this gland is not functioning properly, all these symptoms are possible. I’ll be honest, I am a little reluctant to provide any links here, because I know people will only talk shit, but here is one interesting one that I’ve pulled a few tidbits from that I just came across that some of you may find interesting, after I googled “prostate massage”. which btw I am not doing just yet, because I need to let more of the infection go away first.



Boston, please! I’m not criticizing you to no-end… and I have made many posts where I DO agree with you putting forth the Prostate-as-problem idea… all I ever said is it may not be the ONLY issue for some guys on here (ie, hormones are involved as well)… so please stop saying I am against everything you post.

The only time I criticize is when you have put forth innacurate info, ie that Fin doesn’t affect the prostate in only 3-4 weeks… there are studies showing it works almost immediately and within days.

Best of luck on your hike and I hope you come back a new man! :slight_smile: Keep us informed on your progress.




Heed my words please, everyone!
-hydrotherapy (hot baths)
-lots of walking
-a macrobiotic diet (its much easier than you may think!)
-and did I say lots of walking!!

Walk this shit off!

There is no harm in trying. I’m telling you.


Its funny i did walk for 4 hours touring a city on the first day of the surge and spent the next 2 days cycling.

Unfortunatley its quite hard to pack 2-3 hours walking in a day, especially after work.

Are there any other recomended excersises I generally do around 40 minutes on a cross trainer and 20 minutes on a bike at the gym


I’d suggest the stair climber over biking, since you’re sitting down on a bike seat and not involving the Prostate area/surrounding tissues (there are reports of men who bike frequently having prostate/numb penis issues… although this is when biking for extended periods of time on a hard seat).

I’m not saying you’d get such issues when only on the bike machine for 20 mins a day, but if given the choice and you want to maximally target the prostate area to “loosen things up” (as Boston puts it), I’d choose the stair climber instead… the stepping motions that involve your entire lower body would probably do a lot more good for your Prostate vs sitting on a bike seat and peddling with your legs.

Just my thoughts, anyway. :slight_smile:


First of all apologies for not making regular updates as promised! I have been waiting for some free time before posting an update so here it goes

Good news! I feel I am at least 85% recovered (if not more) from the effects of finasteride! Here is a description of my experiences and recovery:

In July 06 Panic had set in, I thought the penile sensitivity would have disappeared after quitting for 3 months. I did a lot of research and tried the following things over the months that followed

  • Broccoli treatment (for 2 weeks)

  • 1 daily multivitamin (Wellman) includes 15mg of Zinc / 1mg copper / 60mg vitC / 30mg L-Carnitine

  • Fish oil 3 X day

  • Regular exercise (cardio & weights 2/3 times a week)

  • More sleep

I started broccoli treatment after my last post (Jul 12) for a period of 2 weeks, during this time I felt one surge in libido / sensitivity and I couldn’t attribute it to the treatment or whether it would have happened regardless. I did feel healthier while on the treatment and is something I would like to try again, not for recovery purposes but for other additional health benefits.

There was slow improvement over August / September I was working quite hard and not getting as much sleep as the body needs. I recall one point in August where I was starting to get frustrated with the lack of sensitivity however the next morning I had another surge which lasted for a week. During this time the surges seemed to happen every 1.5 - 2 week period and would last between 5 - 8 days. I had maintained the multi vitamin and fish oil during this time upping my intake of fish oil to 3 x day. I had researched that fish oil is very good for the libido.

The rate of improvement was maintained over October / November, the numb periods were reducing from 1.5 - 2 weeks to 1.5 - 1 week, and the sensitive periods were lasting slightly longer (1 week +). Again I maintained my intake of fish oil and vitamins, I also made an extra effort to get more sleep and be more consistent with exercise.

I took a 2 week vacation during late November / early December and abstained from sex / masturbation for the longest period in recent memory (1 week!!). I did this because at the start of the holiday I wasn’t very sensitive and I wanted to see if my libido/sensitivity would build up to the point where I had to relieve my self…it worked and I felt like a rabid teenager, lucky girlfriend.

From early December to today things have continued improving to the point where I feel aroused every morning (if I haven’t overdone it the day before) I have 90% - 100% penile sensitivity every day. My recovery rate is significantly improved, such that after 6 - 8 hours sensitivity is 80% - 95%. My ejaculate volume is greater, and increases the longer I refrain from sex. I have stopped taking multivitamins and fish oil for the last 3.5 weeks with no detriment so far.

I generally feel hornier and feel satisfied after sex and ejaculating. The numb feeling seems to have vanished and I am thankfully forgetting what it felt like! Before taking Propecia my recovery rate was around 2 - 3 hours. If I return to this I would feel fully recovered.

So what made me recover this far? It’s hard to answer that precisely. From the list above, sleep and exercise had the most notable effect on me. After exercise I would start feeling hornier and on weekends when I forced my self to sleep early and get a long rest I would definitely be turned on the next day after I awoke.

I can not ascertain whether fish oil and multivitamins helped perhaps the increased zinc helped speed things up? I didn’t need take them before Propecia and so far things have been ok without. Although I think I will continue with the daily multivitamin and a reduced fish oil dose sometime in the future, as they probably benefit you.

My conclusion is that everyone recovers at different rates but you have to give your body time to recover, I noticed increasing periods of sensitivity / high libido as I recovered. Hopefully things will return to normal for everyone.


Thanks for your update side-affected. I really needed to hear some good news.

I used propecia for 3 years and suddenly started have sexual dysfunction 6 months ago. I stopped the propecia at that time and my libido came back to normal, but then suddenly dropped again (just as you described). Its been 6 months that I have minimal libido and sensitivity. I tried the Broccolo treatment to and had the same results as you.

So far, I have about 1 good day of sensitivity out of 4 weeks. I only feel about 20-30% recovered. Do you recommend any other regimens or supplements?


My sensitivity is 90%(size is still affected, but is better). I am on painkillers, a mild antibiotic and dostinex…don’t know which one of these has helped. good luck


Hi everyone,

Really need your help. I took Propecia consistently for about 7 months (july 2010 - feb 2011), and then on and off for another month after that (Completely stopped by the end of march 2011). Didn’t really notice any side effects with regards to sexual dysfunction whilst taking the drug as I did not have sex at all during that period (masturbated mulitiple times a day though). However, i started having sex with my new girlfriend round about the middle of last month (june), and was horrified at the fact that i could not maintain an erection. I would get hard fairly easily, but then lose if again really quickly. Basically, if i got hard, i would have2 penetrate her immediately otherwise it would go soft within seconds. This happens all the time when we’re switching positions - its actually come to the point where we stay in one position for the entire session. It got slightly better after the first 2weeks or so, but by ‘better’ i mean i could hold an erection for 3-4mins instead or 5secs. Now, i think i probably last about 7-10mins maybe (which is obviously still very poor.)

What’s worse though, is the partial numbing of my penis when having sex. I can feel it, and it feels good (i still have some sensitivity on the underside of my penis, espec the head), but nowhere near how it use to feel. We’ve been having sex since mid june and i havent been able to ejaculate during sex once (slight pre mature ejaculate, but literally like a drop and without the orgasm). Whats perhaps giving me hope, is the fact that when i watch porn i can get hard fairly most of the time (if i dont watch porn for a few days and then go back and watch one, i can get hard within seconds usually, and am able to ejaculate and orgasm without fail every time). So at first i thought it might just be her, but it really isnt. The partial numbness is definitely the cause. Its like it feels good, but the numbness is stopping me from orgasm.

Otherwise side effects ive expericence include: penis size has shrunk by a few cms, semen sometimes a yellow/white colour.

I’ve been watching all of these youtube vids and articles about how propecia has PERMANENTLY caused sexual side effects, and so have basically been in a big depression for the last few weeks. Can anyone tell me from reading my account if this is a severe case of sexual dysfunction? And if/when it can be reversed?

This is probably a typical story but would really appreciate a response as I am so depressed about it.

Thank you so much.


You sound like one of the lucky ones with just sexual issues. Believe me!


I suffered penis numbness after I used sex gel to also tried many viagras & shilajeet but it didn’t help me out. So I find out my own way. I massage daily my penis with hand & today I really feel a little bit different in penis sensitivity.I m also taking insulin resistance diet which includes fruits,veggies, quoina, zinc, omega 3 & vitamins c

Never take viagra or don’t apply anything on penis bcz penis has its own tendency to increase decrease & feel testrones


suffered penis numbness after I used sex gel to also tried many viagras & shilajeet but it didn’t help me out. So I find out my own way. I massage daily my penis with hand & today I really feel a little bit different in penis sensitivity.I m also taking insulin resistance diet which includes fruits,veggies, quoina, zinc, omega 3 & vitamins c

Never take viagra or don’t apply anything on penis bcz penis has its own tendency to increase decrease & feel testrones