I don’t know if this is the right place to post this but I need help.
I’m 24 years old. I’ve been on finasteride for 4 years and an SSRI (first Zoloft, now Effexor) for about 4 years and 4 months. Currently I have total loss of sexual function. No libido, genital anesthesia, ED, anorgasmia, sexual anhedonia (no pleasure during ejaculation), watery semen, weak ejaculation, loss of morning wood. I’ve also experienced retrograde ejaculation lately. Why haven’t I gotten off the drugs sooner? Denial and idiocy. I didn’t want to believe that my symptoms were drug induced, so I rationalized why I was still taking them. Also I was stressed as hell in college so I blamed all my symptoms on my state of mind rather than the drugs.
After I got out of school last year I started paying more attention to my body and realized that the problems weren’t going away. I started doing research on side effects, PSSD, and PFS and became horrified. The fact that I’m on two drugs that cause persistent sexual dysfunction only confounds the problem. I don’t really know which drug is the culprit (or if both are) since I got on them roughly the same time, and didn’t pay much attention to my body and symptoms until the past year. Just kept pushing it away and focusing on other things. Stupid I know.
The only thing I can conclusively point to finasteride is watery semen, weak ejaculation. I remember when I was on Zoloft only I experienced some ED but my ejaculations were still strong and semen was thick and white. This was the first 2 months or so starting SSRI treatment. The first few months on finasteride my libido was still strong and I still had pleasure during ejaculation.
The past years in between then have been a blur. All I can say is that after a certain time period of being on both an SSRI and finasteride I lost my sexuality. The switch from Zoloft to Effexor seemed to cause an increase in genital numbness but it is hard to say.
Why I am still taking them? Fear and ignorance. On the limited research I’ve done it seems like tapering off either drug incorrectly or too quickly can put the body into “shock” which may cause PSSD or PFS. I’m afraid that I’ll permanently mess myself up or if I already have.
Also I don’t know which drug to taper first. Finasteride? Effexor? Is there any way I can minimize my chances of getting PSSD or PFS? I wanted to come here first to get some input because at this point I don’t trust my doctors. They are completely ignorant on both PSSD and PFS and my psychiatrist even suggested that the sexual problems are from ongoing anxiety issues (the reason I got on an SSRI in the first place). Prior to any medication I didn’t have sexual problems, even when I had bad anxiety.
Losing my sexuality has thrown me into depression. Id trade anxiety for restored sexual function any day. I would be grateful for any advice on how to get out of the mess I’m in. I know I should get off the drugs but I want to do it in the safest way possible.