I’ve been meaning to post this for some time now but I wanted to be sure 100% that my symptoms were completely gone first. I started taking Finasteride around 5 years ago and was on it for around 2 years. I had no side effects at all during taking it apart from mood swings/ emotions being all over the place and extreme anxiety but I hadn’t linked this to Finasteride yet.
Those 2 years on Fin passed and I went away on holiday with my new partner and happened to forget my medication. We were gone for around 1 week so when I got back I just decided I wasn’t going to take them anymore. I went off them cold turkey and everything seemed fine.
Around 2 months passed, we had moved out of the house we were in and into another house we had just built. I remember we were rushing to paint the walls so we could move in. We ended up getting it done and I noticed a lack of energy during painting and doing other things to prepare the house, usually I had a lot of energy and stamina and was fine with things like this but it was really taking it out of me.
We moved everything into the house and out of nowhere I got extremely sick very quickly. I was so sick that I couldn’t leave the bed to get in the car to go to hospital. My partner ended up having to carry me to the car after several false starts over an hour. I got to the hospital carpark, out of the car… and I collapsed, then vomited.
They got me inside in a wheelchair and put me on fluids, then kept me in for almost a week. My whole body felt like it was just weak and giving up somewhat. Once I was better they let me go home. I remember shortly after this happened, around 1 week or so I started noticing extreme ED. I couldn’t get an erection at all, I remember hiding away in the shower trying everything to get it to move and it wouldn’t. I was so distraught I had no idea what to do. My partner is younger than me and we were only just starting to have a very active sex life.
All of a sudden I had no sex drive, no rock hard erections or morning erections that I was used to several times daily… I was severely depressed and most time during those days I has voices running through my head to kill myself, my anxiety was through the roof, I was angry all the time and frustrated, my regular every day anxiety evolved into a whole new form of anxiety where I was trapped inside my own head and could not speak to people. I went from being able to talk in front of groups and give presentations to standing in front of a room of people at work unable to speak until I sat down. At this point I had no idea what PFS is and I hadn’t even thought to link my symptoms with this.
Months passed, with my partner wondering what the hell is happening with our sex life… I was now able to get an erection but not through pornography, it could only be by concentrating super hard and I would need to psych myself up for about 5 minutes before sex. On top of this I was made redundant from my job that I loved and our relationship was still good but in terms of sex it was falling apart. I tried the CDNUTS(?) method, fasted, exercised, ate clean, ate gluten free etc. for some months and I had a small amount of success. I was able to get erect again with less effort and this was a temporary relief, but the other symptoms just made it all worse.
2 years go by and I had stopped eating healthy, stopped exercise and had given up completely. I had been saving a stockpile of valium & vodka to end everything all because of PFS, it was time for me. I made a plan and kept it secret. Luckily I had a terrible day, one of my lowest I can remember… and I took just one of the valium I had been stockpiling. Never having taken one before it was like floating on a cloud. I felt like I was on a mental holiday and just didn’t care about anything.
A 3 week valium blur passed and I realised I was somewhat dependant on them, so I stopped. One explosive ongoing week long panic attack later and I was weened off them. During my non caring haze I realised I have a lot to live for and decided to give it one last try. I joined a gym and started working out 6 days a week, doing heavy weights and cardio.
It had now been 2 weeks of me hitting the gym and I felt I had a bit of fight back in me so I made an appointment to see an endocrinologist. I booked in and waited 3 weeks to see him. When I got there, we had a 1 hour appointment where he checked everything, including my testicles… and he basically told me there is nothing he can do to help me. On an off chance he had prepared some brochures before my arrival (He had my blood tests prior to the appt sent over and my paperwork explaining my issues and he had then researched PFS). After apologising that there is nothing he can tell me that I don’t already know, he handed me a brochure for Sexual dysfunction post SSRI use.
I threw it in my car and thought nothing of it until a week later, I thought what have I got to lose. I read through it and unconvinced, started googling for more info. The reason he gave me this pamphlet is according to him, the reason for the sexual dysfunction from PFS and post SSRI use are very similar.
So I got to Googling and found a case study that had been highly successful where sufferers of post SSRI sexual dysfunction took Ginkgo Biloba tablets daily and seen an intense improvement over a 2 week period.
Excited and having this feeling of ‘Eureeka! I found the solution!’, I rushed out to the pharmacy and bought a large bottle of Ginkgo Biloba. I started taking them that day and already noticed a small improvement. I actually wanted to have sex for the first time in a couple of years. I mean the need was there but that drive you get just wasn’t, but now suddenly it was back mildly.
Around 4 weeks passed, I was working out daily, eating right, taking Ginkgo religiously… and my sex drive was coming back with a vengeance. I was concerned my penis shrunk slightly too while PFS was at its’ worst. Everything I was doing took me from considering maybe having sex once a fortnight to wanting it every day. Then as I kept taking it, I ended up wanting it twice even three times a day. Most days if my partner wasn’t home I would masturbate.
My penis returned to its’ original size and my erections are rock hard. My anxiety has lessened dramatically, my suicidal ideation is gone, my brain fog has lifted. Best of all, I want to have sex all the time. I get morning erections, I get erections so hard they hurt. I am 35 years old, just in case I didn’t mention, so I am relatively young still.
2 months of this went by and in the third and most recent month I stopped exercising for a week, ate bad food and still, my lobido was not affected at all. I finally feel free!
I know everyone is different but after the hell I went through, if this helps at least one person I will die a happy man. No man deserves to go through PFS!