COVID-19 can have many impacts, both physical and psychological. A question that keeps coming up in recent media and literature is whether there is a link between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction.

In this article, we review numerous studies on the associations between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction (ED).

We also explore whether ED can increase the risk of COVID-19, potential complications of COVID-19, treatments for ED, and when to contact a doctor.

Several studies are exploring the effects of COVID-19 on ED.

Researchers involved in a Pilot study 2021 examined penile tissue from four people, two with a history of COVID-19 infection and two without. The results suggest that the two who had COVID-19 showed a presence of viral function in their biopsies. Scientists conclude that cellular dysfunction in the body due to COVID-19 infection may contribute to erectile dysfunction.

A Statistical study 2022 involving global data from over 66 million people – excluding those who already had erectile dysfunction before January 2020 – indicates there is a higher risk of contracting erectile dysfunction after COVID-19 infection . However, this study relies on statistical data from a global database instead of a blinded clinical study, which is an important limitation.

Another 2022 study among 348 participants is trying to determine if COVID-19 can cause testicular damage. By comparing testosterone levels before and after COVID-19 over a period of one year, this study suggests that people positive for COVID-19 had a greater decrease in testosterone levels than those who did not contract the virus. infection.

A report 2022 review of 693 publications in the field of COVID-19 and ED indicates compelling evidence that the virus can harm men’s health and sexual function. This includes an almost 6 times higher risk of getting erectile dysfunction.

COVID-19, mental health and ED

A study 2022 among 156 men at the onset of COVID-19 infection and within a month of COVID-19 infection, they found that they suffered from more depression and anxiety and a function score weaker erectile. This could indicate that COVID-19 may lead to more anxiety, which in turn increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.

A 2020 report explores how a severe acute respiratory syndrome infection in 2002 affected people’s mental health. This suggests that the infection was capable of having a long-term negative impact on mental health and that COVID-19 could be similar.

According to a 2022 report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people with long-term chronic depression or persistent feelings of loneliness were 81% more likely to be hospitalized after a diagnosis of COVID-19. This suggests that COVID-19 could be a psychological risk factor for mental health.

A 2020 report states that sexual performance anxiety contributes to premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Therefore, it seems reasonable that general anxiety may also have an effect. In fact, a study 2021 involving adult men suggests that people with anxiety disorders have a high risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

Further research

The studies above show an association between COVID-19, anxiety or depression, overall health and erectile dysfunction.

However, people may have underlying health conditions that affect results. Most studies indicate that more research is needed to truly explore the link between COVID-19 and ED.

Very few studies have explored the risk of contracting COVID-19 in people with erectile dysfunction.

A study 2021 examined 100 participants, 25 of whom tested positive for COVID-19 infection. It found that people with erectile dysfunction were more likely to have COVID-19 than those without erectile dysfunction.

This study emphasizes that its results are preliminary and that further research is needed. It is also important to note that correlation does not equal causation.

However, there is also another point of view.

an older one 2013 study found that men with erectile dysfunction had a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). While scientists need to conduct larger studies, evidence suggests that cardiovascular disease increases the severity of COVID-19, according to a 2022 study. This means that there is an indirect association that ED may increase the risk of COVID-19.

The CDC recommend a number of ways to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

These include:

  • obtain vaccines, including applicable boosters
  • wear a properly fitted mask in indoor public spaces
  • stay 6 feet away from others
  • avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • tests to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
  • wash hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • clean and disinfect surfaces if necessary
  • being alert to symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath
  • follow government and CDC recommendations for quarantine, isolation, and travel

The CDC also states that people with weakened immune systems should take extra precautions.

According to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseaseserectile dysfunction treatments include:

  • Lifestyle changes: These may include not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke, limiting or avoiding alcohol intake, stopping all illegal drug use, and increasing physical activity. A healthy diet can also help people maintain a moderate body weight and reduce inflammation.
  • Tips: Erectile dysfunction can have a psychological effect, leading to stress or sexual anxiety. Talking with a knowledgeable counselor or psychologist can help alleviate any stress or psychological effects.
  • Oral medications: These can help get and keep erections. Examples include sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil. However, most require a prescription and don’t work with certain other medications, such as alpha-blockers or nitrates.
  • Injectables and suppositories: These are only available by prescription. They work by moving the medicine alprostadil into the bloodstream. This triggers an erection within 10 minutes which can last up to 60 minutes.
  • Operation: A urologist may recommend surgery to reconstruct the arteries to increase blood flow to the penis or implant a device that helps the penis achieve an erection.

According to a article 2020, other emerging treatments include low-intensity shock wave therapy, stem cells, and nitrate oxide donors. However, scientists need to conduct long-term studies to determine their effectiveness, safety, harms, and overall results.

People with COVID-19 who are concerned about its long-term effects on their particular health condition should see a doctor to see if there are any precautions or tests they can take. Many online health services can help people get to a doctor, even if they can’t leave their homes.

Likewise, people with cardiovascular disease or any underlying medical conditions that increase their chances of contracting COVID-19 should also seek medical attention to increase preventative measures. The CDC lists a number of conditions that pose a high risk of serious illness with COVID-19.

Some people may feel anxious or uncomfortable talking to a doctor about erectile dysfunction. However, there is nothing to be embarrassed about and a doctor or urologist can most likely help resolve or treat the symptoms.

COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction affect many people. Numerous studies suggest links between the two, including both direct and indirect associations.

In particular, it appears that people with COVID-19 are more likely to have erectile dysfunction or worsen their current erectile dysfunction. The reverse could also be true. However, more research is needed to determine the long-term impact.

One way to prevent erectile dysfunction may be to increase protection against COVID-19. There are many ways to do this, including wearing masks. People with weakened immune systems or those experiencing complications from COVID-19 may find it helpful to talk to a doctor about their concerns.