By Orville Williams

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Men are told that alongside the threat of serious illness or even death, Covid-19 poses a great threat to erectile function, both directly and indirectly.

Dr Adrian Rhudd, consultant urologist at Sir Lester Bird Medical Center (SLBMC), shared the tips at the end of the week.

Speaking in state media, Dr Rhudd explained that, in the same way that it affects other organs in the body, Covid-19 could negatively impact the penis, causing problems with obtaining and maintaining erections.

“What we know at the molecular level [is that] Covid is a vascular disease. The Covid virus creates a lot of inflammation, especially in the lungs, which is why we have respiratory problems.

“As more and more information is gathered, we find that the Covid virus affects the brain, kidneys, penis [and] testicles, so if it damages the blood vessels in the lungs to [cause] difficulty breathing, the same will happen in the penis which needs good blood circulation for erections.

He also noted that the psychological impact of the Covid-19 contraction could affect the penis indirectly, as the many burdens that accompany severe Covid overwhelm men.

“To get an erection… you have to have the desire, be interested in having sex, and then your aqueduct has to be able to function.

“Now, if you had Covid, didn’t work, and you’re stressed out, is sex the first thing you think of? If you’ve been hospitalized for awhile, your bills are piling up, lost weight, and been on a ventilator, is sex the first thing you think about? Maybe not, ”he suggested.

According to research facilitated by Italy’s Ministry of Education, University and Research earlier this year, men could be six times more likely to develop brief or prolonged erectile dysfunction after contracting the virus.

Other studies have revealed many other sexual health issues that affect men even after their recovery from Covid, including low testosterone, pain or swelling in the testicles, and an inability to reach orgasm.

Dr Ranjith Ramasamy, of the University of Miami Health System, also says growing evidence suggests Covid-19 could sabotage men’s sexual health.

“We found that men who had not had these problems before developed quite severe erectile dysfunction after infection with Covid-19,” he told National Geographic, adding that, “since the penis is actually one of the most vascular organs in the body, we weren’t surprised that erectile dysfunction is more common in men with long Covid. ”

These reports may be among the hundreds circulating around the world, but when it comes to local evidence, Dr Rhudd says there isn’t much to do at this point.

“At the moment, I cannot say that I see patients coming for this, but internationally, it is a very hot topic.

“[Right now] we don’t have our functioning urology clinics, impotence is not at the top of the list of problems – fortunately or unfortunately – that we see, so right now it may be people at home who wonder, wonder [whether] something is wrong but has not come out, that we can say that we are counting the numbers. With time [though], we’ll find out. “

Dr Ramasamy has also dismissed claims about the Covid-19 vaccine affecting men’s sexual health – especially after a now infamous tweet by artist Nicki Minaj – saying: ‘It’s important that people understand that vaccination Covid does not affect erectile function. The virus can have significant long-term side effects and the vaccine is safe, ”he said.