Used propecia for 3 years, sexual side effects just started


I am currently suffering sexual dysfunction like decreased penile sensitivity, difficulty getting/maintaining erections, decreased semen volume, watery semen, loss of spntaneous erections, and low libido.

I am 23 years old and have been taking Propecia for 3 years.

In the first two weeks that I started taking it, I experienced erectile dysfunction and low libido, but then I read that with continued use, the side effects go away. So I continued using it, and luckily, the side effects did completely go away and I have been using the drug for 3 years with no problems at all.

However, in June 2007, I started experiencing the sexual side effects again and could not even get an erection at all. So, I stopped the Propecia cold turkey. About 5 days later, I regained my libido and everything was fine as I had expected.

However, the side effects slowly returned and now 3 weeks after stopping Propecia, I have extremely low libido and if I can manage to get an erection, it feels numb with little sensation.

I am devastated. I can’t recall a time in my entire life when Ive gone 3 days without wanting to masturbate. Porn doesnt turn me on anymore. Usually, I can’t even go a day or two without having a crazy urge to masturbate or have sex.

I know this is abnormal, its not psychological, Im not stressed out about anything going on in my life, and I work out everyday. My diet is great.

Im going to see a urologist and endocrinologist tomorrow to get a hormone profile.


Hi Worried,

I can relate to your story, as can many others on here… the pattern you describe is familiar to us - brief recovery after quitting the drug, then slow downhill decline in function/libido etc.

I too experience the penile numbness/loss of sensation that you describe, and issues with mental stimulation to erotic imagery (not horny in my head, no urge “down there”) – again, these are common symptoms for many of us due to the drug.

The thing is with the drug, some guys can go years without problems and then they get hit with sides, like you did… others get no sides, and others get them within days of starting. Have you read the FAQ at the top of this forum yet? It may shed some light on things.

What I can tell you is that for myself (you can read my story in Members Stories section) over the past 20 months, things have improved a lot in the sexual department to the point where my semen volume has increased, I am able to get an erection without manual stimulation while watching porn (even though I’m not “horny” in my head! Wierd…) and can have decent sex (not like I used to but good enough)… unfortunately the penile/scrotum shrinkage and numbness I got while on the drug still persists.

Low Total Testosterone/Free/Bioavailable Testosterone, Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and high Estradiol (E2)/Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) after Finasteride seem to be a common trend for many guys with post-Fin side effects, ie. Secondary Hypogonadism – which can be treated, although ours seems to be a difficult case. I myself have not tried further drug treatments like Clomid to try and boost my own Testosterone production, but may in the future. You may also want to investigate your Prostate, ie, get a Prostate Ultrasound or physical to rule out possible Prostatitis… since Finasteride targets the Prostate/associated nerves by reducing DHT/shrinking it, as you have stated, you can can probably guess the Prostate may be a factor in this as well.

Regardless it is very early days for you yet and thus do not panic!! I remember how scary this can be but it does get better over time… many guys recover within 3-6 months, but sometimes it can take a lot longer for improvements to show up… for some, recovery from this drug seems to be a slow process. Getting back to 100% the way you used to be before taking it is the ultimate goal.

Best bet is to get tested ASAP for the hormones listed in the “Blood Tests” section (sticky at top of forum) and see what is going on with your body.

Keep us updated and stay positive, research this forum and start learning about how this drug may have affected you so you can reverse the effects.


Dude, do everything that Mew suggested, but also, something I wish I had done right away instead of lying around, or sitting on the computer, depressed for three months, was to walk walk walk walk walk, all you can.
I’m telling you man. You have nothing to lose.
Eat a healthy macrobiotic diet (no sugars, red meats, or stimulating substances) and walk.

Tom 43 kicked all his sexual sides right after they started after about two months from walking 3-6 hours everyday.
He gave me the advice.
I do it a few nights a week for about 2-3 hours late at night down at the track.
Then after reading all over, and doing it myself, it helps tremendously to gently gently relieve your prostate back into shape, and help dissipate sexual dysfunctions.

Walk and take hot baths (which improve blood circulation)
Read my post under skippyb’s recovery too.

Good Luck! Forest!! :wink:


So it has been 6 months since I quit propecia. I used it for 3 years and quit once I had sexual side effects.

Since then, I have regained a partial ability to get an erection, but my libido has just barely budged. I masturbate 2-3 times a week, but I feel like I force myself. My penis feels numb and my ejaculate is so watery and only about 30% of what it used to be. Masturbating used to be euphoric for me, but now I can just do without it. I can go 4-5 days without even thinking about sex. That was unheard of for me before this incident. Its scary and I’m still struggling here.

My hormone levels were “normal” according to tests I took 4 months ago, but I never had them checked BEFORE I had the problem. So its difficult to tell without comparing the values to myself instead of to some standardized values. I’m currently not on any regimen.

All the doctors I see tell me its psychological. Its NOT. I have gone through some of the most difficult times in my life with NO effect on my reproductive health.

Does anyone else have the same story as me or has heard of someone else like this? Dcotors suggest I wait a year, so I’m crossing my fingers…


Yea, pretty much 95% of the guys on this forum are in the same boat, self included.


So its been 12 months now that I have quit propecia, and unfortunately there has been no improvement in my libido.

I have seen several endocrinlogists and urologists. They all say my prostate and health look fine. My blood and urine tests are fine and all come back within “normal” range. Yet I KNOW that my sex drive is gone. My semen is very watery too.

So, I started seeing an acupuncturist because I feel like I’ve tried everything else. I’m not holding my breath.

It ridiculous that I can go a week without having any urge to look at porn or anything. I would ejaculate twice a day before this all started happening in June 2007. WHAT IS GOING ON?? I don’t know what else to look for that might be wrong in my body. I’ve been following this forum pretty closely over the past year and it doesn’t seem like many people have recovered or found the reason as to why their libido has diminished. It’s so hard to enjoy life without a sex drive.

Anyone have any good news??


Based on the below…

You were at near hypogondal Testosterone levels. How can this be considered “normal” for a guy your age (I’m assuming you’re in your 20s)?

If you continue to have low T, I’m sure that may be a factor in the loss of libido. have you tried anything to boost T – Tribulus, Tongkat Ali, Comid, hCG, Tamoxifen, TRT?

Yes this fits the common pattern for most here as well… just not horny or have no desire to “do it” anymore, since we don’t think about sex hardly ever.

Theories section of this website would be a good place to start:

  • 5AR2 enzyme mutation?
  • Androgen receptor mutation/desensitization?
  • 5AR2 deficiency?
  • Dopamine deficiency?
  • NADPH binding mutation?
  • 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/3b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency?
  • Liver steroid metabolism screwed up?

There are genetic tests and 5AR2 genital skin fibroblast tests that can be done to check for 5AR2 and Androgen Receptor problems, ie mutation/activity… these are stickied at top of Hormones & Bloodtests section. That’s one path to investigate. But you need to print out the studies and bring them with you to the docs to convince them on it.

Otherwise you might want to just see Shippen or Crisler and see what they can do for you, if you want to try boosting Testosterone.


Mew -

I am 24 years old. My endocrinologist says that my T levels are normal “beyond a doubt”. He has treated 9,000 patients and is an expert endocrinologist (Dr. Richard Sherins in Washington DC). I mean, he says that T levels fluctuate between people but that my T levels are well within normal range. Maybe I should just try TRT or hCG to see if it works…

I fee like a lot of people on this site have normal hormone levels but still have the libido issue. Its very frustrating to think that this may be some problem that hasnt been discovered yet, since propecia is relatively new. AR downregulation is a scary thought.

Have you tried getting any of these enzyme/receptor mutation analyses done on yourself? Are these really possible/accurate? Do you know of anyone on this site that has done any of these mutation tests that you listed, and if so, has anyone found anything significant?


No I have not had them done myself, yet.

No, nobody on this site has had them done so we don’t know wether they would help shed light or not.


Its been 13 months since I stopped propecia. I still have zero libido. God help me.


From My experience,

if it dint recover in a week or two, I really don’t know how its gonna come back by “itself”. It took me a drug theraphy to to get to be a like a 50 year old man from a 80 year old man! now its all about trying to be back to a 27 year old guy!


Everyone please respond to this doctor who is now researching our side effects


I’ve been using 5g Maca root (powder) daily for about a month now. But I havn’t seen any improvement in my libido yet.

I’m going to use it for another month and see what happens…


Just a thought, if nothing has changed physically and hormones and blood values are fine, it COULD be just stress/anxiety-based? Not saying it is, but when you are under stress or depression, your libido and general mental well-being are the first ones to go.


Yes, I’ve been very open to the idea of this being a mental issue. However, depression/stress/anxiety have never affected my libido in any way. Even during the most depressing times of my life, I have always waken up to strong morning erections and and an insatiable sexual apetite. In fact, the most depressing times of my life were because I could not satisty my sexual hunger. My libido was too high and out of control (maybe because of propecia? A known side effect is increased libido in some users).

However, I lost my libido during one of the most relaxing, pleasant times of my life. I just couldn’t understand it. I have lost all my morning erections too. Every morning of my life I would wake up and have to wait for my erection to come down to urinate. My semen is now extremely watery and literally 20% of the volume that it used to be.

If someone were to tell me right now that to get my libido back I would have to work as a janitor in a dangerous, poverty-stricken neighborhood the rest of my life, I would do it in a heart beat.


I have the same issue with morning erections. No “piss boners” either. This makes no sense as my T is high and estrogen&prolactin low. Really weird.