Propecia Killed my Erection

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  • Optic Eye
    Junior Member
    • Dec 2008
    • 7

    Propecia Killed my Erection

    I'm 44 and I've had two hair transplants, in a ritzy clinic in Beverly Hills, mainly on the vertex and the frontal hairline. My doctor strongly suggested that I start taking Propecia so I wouldn't lose any more existing hair. I agreed and began my once a day pill of Propecia in the morning. For the next 2 1/2 years I took Propecia everyday and my hair responded wonderfully to it. My hair looked great once the implants started growing. I was overjoyed! It was as if someone had turned back the clock 10 years on my looks. I had been a prisoner under various baseball hats for 4 long years and now I felt free. Before, I would constantly avoid social situations because I didn't want people to see my thinning head of hair. Sometimes friends would joke and say they never see me without a hat. I'd laugh it off but that got under my skin. Now, women were checking me out and my confidence rose. Having the 2 hair transplants (that cost over 12 grand) was the best money I've ever spent and worth every penny.

    Now the bad news. My sex drive was slowly diminishing with each passing day. I really didn't notice it at first but about 6 months into taking Propecia I realized I wasn't lasting as long as I used to in the bedroom. I just chalked it up to being tired or getting older (not a kid anymore). Sometimes everything was fine and dandy but things started getting bad in the second year on Propecia. My erections weren't nearly as strong as before. I was flying at half mast. Sometimes I could barely maintain enough wood to get a condom on. Once I had the condom on I couldn't feel anything. My penis was numb. Condoms always dull the sensation no matter how thin they are but I couldn't feel anything at all. Sensitivity near zero. This was scary. I got very little pleasure from sex. It was like exercise. Even without the condom sometimes it was hard to get things going, when a woman gave me head, it was like watching someone else on TV because I just barely felt it. On a good day I could get it up, get it in a condom and give her a few good strokes and that was it. I was on a downward spiral sexually, I can't begin to tell you about the embarassment I felt but my hair looked great. My relationship with my girlfriend fell apart and we soon broke up. I told my doctor and he said he could write me a perscription for Viagra. I didn't want to start taking the magic blues, because they have some nasty side effects of their own. Besides, I was a superman in the sack before my surgery and Propecia. I knew in my mind I had one thing to do.

    I had to stop taking Propecia. I knew that about 2% of the men that take Propecia experience erectile problems and I guess I was in that small margin. After a few weeks off Propecia my desire and rockhard erections came roaring back. I was waking up in the morning with a boner. That's something that rarely happened while I was on Propecia. Now, without Propecia dulling my senses I was swinging the lumber, burning women down to the ground. I was a love machine again and I got my sexual confidence back. That was 11 months ago and I haven't taken a single dose of Propecia since.

    Now the downside: At the moment I have some major shedding going on with the hair surrounding the transplants. I read that if you stop Propecia, then any benefit you gain while on it will be lost within a year. I also read when you start up a new treatment you can expect shedding for the first few months. I believe I'm getting a double whammy of shedding right now from the stoppage of Propecia and starting the 10% Minox about 6 months ago. I'm trying not to panic as my hair looks thinner and uncooperative with each washing. I'm just trying to weather the shedding storm and hope that the minox will soon take effect and restore my density.

    I didn't want to stop Propecia but I was caught between a rock and a hard place. What good is having hair and being attractive to women if you can't perform sexually. That's what life is all about. I'd rather be bald or thinning and have my dick work than have a full head of lovely hair and have a limp noodle. If there is anything worst than hairloss it's not having your pecker work. You feel like half a man.


    When I stopped Propecia I decided to try topicals. I started with Spectral DNC, "The world's most effective topical hair loss treatment", that's what the bottle says. Spectral DNC is an orange solution that contains 5% minoxidil, Aminexil, and various herbal ingredients. I used this for only 6 months because it constantly turned my black hair orange wherever it was applied. I didn't see any shedding while I used Spectral DNC but I didn't see any results either. I switched to Perfect Hair Solution's, 10% Minoxidil with 5% Azelaic Acid (twice a day), added Procerin (a supposed herbal dht blocker), a saw palmetto pill 160mg (to give the Procerin a boost), and Nizoral shampoo (twice a week). That's my regimen.

    Once I switched to the Minox I started to shed within a 2 months. A hard shed. Shedding hair is scary, especially when you've had two density building hair transplants. I'm at the point where I almost need to reach for my hat again because of the thin spots. Everything I've read about shedding said it's temporary and the hair will grow back, just hang in there but I don't know. I think the minox is making some of the transplanted hairs shed too. It's been 5 months on my new regimen and hard to tell if the shedding has completely stopped or not. I'm sure it has slowed. I really don't see a staggering amount of hairs falling out when I comb it, but after I wash my hair it always looks thinner. I see some small hairs sprouting but I don't know if they are miniaturizing from the lack of Propecia or are they new hairs growing from the super strength Minox. It's hard to tell what I'm actually seeing. I'm going to keep at my regimen for another 6 months and if no improvement, I'll have to do something else, but without Propecia in my line of defense I don't see many options.
  • Rosso_Corsa
    Junior Member
    • Jun 2009
    • 5

    #2
    Thanks for posting that. I totally hear you about impotence making one feel like "half a man".

    That is my biggest fear that is holding me back from starting Propecia! What good is a full head of hair if you can't perform?!

    Comment

    • Mr. 4000
      Senior Member
      • Jul 2009
      • 288

      #3
      Originally posted by Rosso_Corsa
      Thanks for posting that. I totally hear you about impotence making one feel like "half a man".

      That is my biggest fear that is holding me back from starting Propecia! What good is a full head of hair if you can't perform?!
      absolutely nothing!

      Comment

      • Dr Dan McGrath
        IAHRS Recommended Hair Transplant Surgeon
        • Dec 2008
        • 6

        #4
        Propecia issues

        I am sorry to here that you had the response that you did with the propecia.
        In my practice I try to explain to patients that this is a very small percentage of patients that have a response like that, but I also remind them that this is not life or death, its hair, and if you get side effects from the medicine what good is that?
        I have had some success though in giving my patients a drug holiday for a month or two and then restarting the Propecia but going to an every other day dosing schedule or even every third day for a few weeks. That way you can still get some benefit with the least amount of side effects.
        It may be worth a try.

        Dr Dan
        sigpic
        Dr. Dan McGrath
        Toll free: 1-800-717-1087
        E-mail: info@mcgrathmedical.com
        www.mcgrathmedical.com
        Member, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
        View my IAHRS Profile

        Comment

        • Red20
          Senior Member
          • Dec 2008
          • 100

          #5
          Originally posted by Dr Dan McGrath
          I am sorry to here that you had the response that you did with the propecia.
          In my practice I try to explain to patients that this is a very small percentage of patients that have a response like that, but I also remind them that this is not life or death, its hair, and if you get side effects from the medicine what good is that?
          I have had some success though in giving my patients a drug holiday for a month or two and then restarting the Propecia but going to an every other day dosing schedule or even every third day for a few weeks. That way you can still get some benefit with the least amount of side effects.
          It may be worth a try.

          Dr Dan

          Fantastic advice Dr Dan!

          Comment

          • brando1
            Junior Member
            • Mar 2009
            • 10

            #6
            I had the same issue when I first started taking proscar so I stopped for a while then started back up again. Those side effects eventually went away including the soreness in my breast area. But at the age of 44yrs your testosterone slowly decrees, maybe get you tesosterone free and total checked out or ask your doc for a prescription of Androgel for that boost
            If you do decide to get your testosterone Free and Total checked out make sure you do first thing in the Morning or your test will show false results.

            I would stay in there and let you body adjust to the med and try not to think about it so much

            Good luck.

            Comment

            • Buckerine11
              Senior Member
              • Nov 2008
              • 107

              #7
              Does anyone know if gynecomastia from Propecia always comes with initial tenderness of the breasts?
              Or can you get man-boobs without feeling anything?

              Comment

              • dd11856
                Junior Member
                • Jul 2009
                • 2

                #8
                I am looking at stopping Propecia. I have already reduced the dosage to only three times a week and the side effects haven't gone away. What are some alternative treatments that won't give the same side effects?

                Comment

                • joeh4n
                  Junior Member
                  • Aug 2009
                  • 13

                  #9
                  That must have been a scary experience. I will consult my doctor before taking Propercia :S

                  Comment

                  • Mr. 4000
                    Senior Member
                    • Jul 2009
                    • 288

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Buckerine11
                    Does anyone know if gynecomastia from Propecia always comes with initial tenderness of the breasts?
                    Or can you get man-boobs without feeling anything?
                    The tenderness is surely a sign but I don't think you have to have the tenderness. Sometime times it is associated with being overweight (at least I heard that somewhere) but that is also indirectly related to the natural hormone levels in the body. Those with higher estrogen to test levels tend to have a great chance at getting gyno.????? SOmeone correct me if I'm off base here.......thanks

                    I'm not sure if it is related to higher estrogen levels in the body but I think I heard that someone.

                    Comment

                    • zee_1973
                      Junior Member
                      • Aug 2011
                      • 1

                      #11
                      Hi Optic_Eye:

                      I came across your original post in this thread and found it to be extremely informative and useful.

                      I have been on Propecia for the past 8 years. I must say that the drug completely stopped my hair-loss. However, over time I began feeling a very slight decrease in libido over time. I didnít have a steady girlfriend during that time so the occasional sex was good, but slowly but surely libido was falling. I attributed it to age (I am turning 38). I always had a very strong libido during my 20s and even at times when I was on propecia, but I didnít feel concerned about it.

                      I started seeing my girlfriend last year and we got married 4 months ago. The sex has been good but infrequent. I could completely relate to your story (penis being numb, sex seeming like a chore sometimes). The urge for sex would come on and off, but became highly inconsistent. Just two weeks back, the drive was back big time, but then it disappeared once again.

                      I refuse to believe that at 38 my drive has gone down so much due to age alone. I am very active and fit guy, and I have decided to get off Propecia. I have been off it for less than a week now, and the libido is still super quiet right now.

                      I do not think that having no hair-loss is more preferable to the loss of libido with the love of my life. I will probably get a hair transplant when the hair start falling out. My only concern right now is to get the healthy sex life back.

                      I wanted to let you know that your post was the single biggest factor in me deciding that Propecia is history for me.

                      Would love to hear your update since you have been off Propecia for almost three years now.

                      Comment

                      • Dr Dan McGrath
                        IAHRS Recommended Hair Transplant Surgeon
                        • Dec 2008
                        • 6

                        #12
                        The Propecia dilemma

                        Hello Zee_1973,
                        I am happy to hear that you have found the love of your life but sad to hear that Propecia may be interfering with that love.
                        As a physician and more specifically a hair restoration specialist I prescribe a fair amount of Propecia and I am always at odds when I here report like yours and Optic Eye's.
                        As doctors we really do want the best for our patients and so when we have a situation arise where we need ti choose the lesser of two evils it can make for a hard(no pun intended) choice. As I have said before though in these posts, This is hair not life or death.
                        For the vast majority of patients Propecia works well and most have no side effects at all. Of course I would tell you that if you have not seen a change in the sex drive with a month I would strongly urge you to do some hormone levels with your physician and make sure that they dont just check the free and total testosterone, but the estadiol and shbg (sex hormone binding globulin) levels as well.
                        Propecia may well be the culprit but not all libido issues are.
                        I wish you the best and would be happy to help out in any way I can.

                        Sincerely,

                        Dr Dan McGrath
                        sigpic
                        Dr. Dan McGrath
                        Toll free: 1-800-717-1087
                        E-mail: info@mcgrathmedical.com
                        www.mcgrathmedical.com
                        Member, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
                        View my IAHRS Profile

                        Comment

                        • Aznstan
                          Junior Member
                          • Feb 2010
                          • 23

                          #13
                          Hi my question, and this is for anybody, is if you have a hair transplant aren't the hairs you transplanted from the back/sides supposed to not be affected by DHT and hairloss even when you don't/stop taking propecia? Ive heard doctors recommend taking propecia to keep the HT hair thicker but is prop. supposed to not make the new HT hair fall out permanently?

                          Comment

                          • Dr Dan McGrath
                            IAHRS Recommended Hair Transplant Surgeon
                            • Dec 2008
                            • 6

                            #14
                            The Propecia dilemma

                            Dear Aznstan,
                            Great question. The truth is that all the hair on your head is going to be affected to one degree or another by the presence of DHT.
                            The donor hair we use for transplant should not be affected to any great degree such that it would not grow. Having said that though when you look at the donor hair region of a patient who uses propecia you can't argue with the fact that the hair in its caliper size(shaft size) gets bigger.
                            So the use of propecia in a hair transplant is twofold really, protecting the existing hair and helping to thicken up the donor hair which of course will translate into a better cosmetic result with the transplant.

                            Hope this helps,

                            Dr Dan
                            sigpic
                            Dr. Dan McGrath
                            Toll free: 1-800-717-1087
                            E-mail: info@mcgrathmedical.com
                            www.mcgrathmedical.com
                            Member, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
                            View my IAHRS Profile

                            Comment

                            • Follicle Death Row
                              Senior Member
                              • May 2011
                              • 1066

                              #15
                              Whoa. I had not heard that about the donor hair. Interesting. Thanks for the info Dr. McGrath. Just one quick question: Do you consider the timelines for Aderans and Histogen to be realistic?

                              Comment

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