Studies have shown that a notable complication resulting from COVID-19 infection is the possible onset of erectile dysfunction (ED). A study found that men infected with the virus were more than five times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction. According to an article published earlier this year in the International Journal of Impotence, research has shown a correlation between erectile dysfunction and COVID-19, citing that the infection may affect male sexual function by damaging erectile tissue, testicular damage, and psychological effects of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 infection can affect multiple organ systems and, most fundamentally, directly impacts our blood vessels, nerves, and hormonal function,” says Denver, CO urologist Juan Montoya, MD. “There is also evidence that testosterone, a male sex hormone, may help explain why COVID-19 infections tend to be more severe and fatal in men. Given these findings, it should come as no surprise that erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual health have been associated with COVID-19 infections.
One solution that has brought some benefit to patients with this particular long distance symptom is the use of an in-office electromagnetic treatment called Emsella which treats incontinence. “It engages the vast musculature of the pelvic floor — far beyond what Kegel exercises do — and also appears to improve blood circulation,” notes Joel Cohen, MD, a dermatologist in Denver, CO, who recommended Emsella to help to deal with this problem. “By a few anecdotes, that seems to have helped. Of course, it could just be the time that helps recovery, but recovery seems to have been dramatically accelerated with a series of Emsella sessions.
Emsella works by delivering electromagnetic energy to the pelvic floor muscle causing it to perform thousands of contractions. “There are currently many sexual function studies for both men and women on Emsella, and more will be available soon with actual validated scales,” adds Dr. Cohen. “Increased blood flow to the pudendal region, engagement of the musculature, and improved blood flow to the entire pelvic region appear to be the likely mechanism of action.”
For those “suffering in silence” with erectile dysfunction or diminished sexual health, Dr. Montoya advises an immediate visit with a health care provider or urologist. “Assessment and treatment of these issues have increased dramatically, as have our tools to help patients with these issues,” he shares. “These are common problems with significant underlying medical causes and for which treatment is readily available.”
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