Is there a relationship between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction?
If the danger of death isn’t enough to persuade people to wear masks during the epidemic, maybe the threat of losing their sex lives would. Dena Grayson, an infectious diseases expert who made a sensation on social media Friday by informing NBC 5 Chicago that COVID-19 symptoms can include sexual dysfunction, surely hopes so.
We now know that this virus may have long-term health consequences, such as neurologic difficulties, and there is now some real worry among men who are monitoring this that this virus could cause long-term erectile dysfunction, since we know that it causes issues in the vasculatur.
The serious issue
As the pool of infected persons grows at an apparently uncontrollable rate, the so-called long-haul symptoms of COVID-19 are constantly updated, although erectile dysfunction has not yet reached the level of other recognized COVID-19 side effects including brain fog, lung problems, and organ damage. While it will only be a matter of time until the entire extent of the virus’s effects are known, the science thus far, as reported in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, should be cause for alarm for at least half of the population.
Dysfunction is a likely COVID-19 complication for survivors
“Despite being a minor issue for patients in intensive care units, erectile dysfunction is a likely COVID-19 complication for survivors, and given the infection’s high transmissibility and higher contagion rates among elderly men, a concerning phenomenon for a large proportion of affected patients,” a group of researchers concluded this summer.
Highly significant for male sexual health
They warned that if the pandemic progresses, the virus’s capacity to disrupt vascular and cardiovascular health should not be underestimated, and that testicular damage caused by infection might jeopardize reproductive function. The researchers stated, “These findings can be highly significant for male sexual health: Indeed, based on these premises, there is certainly enough evidence to anticipate that COVID-19’s effects can extend to sexual and reproductive health.”
The only thing that matters is survival
Even if the virus does not directly depress a man’s spirits, the pandemic’s waves of stress may have the same effect. “It’s quite natural to be uninterested in sex during a global crisis,” says Sarah Melancon, a sociologist and clinical sexologist. Because survival stress causes the body to go into a fight-or-flight response, the only thing that matters is survival, not procreation.
Time goes on and more people become infected
The fact that rolling lockdowns have made it more difficult for people to exercise or maintain healthy eating habits isn’t helping their libido. While in lockdown, couples may be seeing a bit too much of one other, which can have an impact on intimacy. Fortunately for the majority, these side effects are very transitory and should disappear after the epidemic has passed. However, this may not be the case with long-haul COVID-19 patients, who may have a hard time rising to the occasion.