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Researchers find link between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction

COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction

*Vaccination is called for to avoid the condition.

While scientists have discovered that the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus leaves peculiar sequelae in some people, such as decreased sense of smell and taste, as well as fatigue or difficulties in breathing normally, scientists have analyzed the relationship between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction as there is a possibility that the disease is having effects on male reproductive organs.

Indeed, hundreds of medical articles by scientists in Europe and North America, as well as in Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Thailand, speak of a connection between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction.

Variations in the magnitude of the problem are diverse. According to an article by Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., director of reproductive urology at the Desai Sethi Urology Institute at the University of MiamiHe and his colleagues found that the risk of erectile dysfunction increased by 20 percent after fighting Covid, but other researchers have reported increases greater than that.

When patients started coming to Dr. Ramasamy's clinic complaining of erection problems, "we dismissed it, thinking it was all psychological or stress-induced," he said.

However, he said, over time, he and other physicians began to see a pattern related to COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction. "Six months after the initial infection, patients improved overall, but continued to complain of these problems," including erectile dysfunction and low sperm count.

A study conducted by the Division of Endocrinology and Medical Sexology, Department of Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, details that in addition to pathophysiological mechanisms such as psychological state, age, Body Mass Index and cardiovascular diseases, erectile dysfunction "may possibly occur after developing COVID-19".

When he compared men who had been ill with COVID against those who had not, he found that those who had been infected were nearly six times more likely to report impotence than those who had avoided the coronavirus.

"Communicating that the disease can affect your sex life is a tremendously powerful message," especially for men who still resist vaccination, Dr. Jannini said in an interview according to The New York Times. "The evidence is very strong."

In that regard, he noted that, contrary to what many believe, universal vaccination against COVID-19 and personal protective equipment "could possibly have the added benefit of preventing sexual dysfunction."

Notably, research from imaging scans and biopsies indicates that the coronavirus can infect tissue within the male genital tract, where it can remain long after initial infection. 

The studies are not conclusive, as researchers suggest that it is still too early to ensure that there is a specific link between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction, since psychological and physiological factors are at play, which were potentiated during the pandemic that produced social isolation, increased anxiety and depression.

In view of this, specialists call for the use of the vaccine against the virus to avoid the disease.

You may be interested in: COVID-19 vaccine boosters key to reintegrating seniors back into their communities

Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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