There is limited evidence to verify that severe COVID-19 and stress and anxiety induced by it may cause erectile dysfunction as research is ongoing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created both physical and mental health issues for many people. There are many claims about the various side effects the virus could have on a person. One of such claims is that COVID-19 can cause erectile dysfunction.
A study published by Cambridge University focuses on two male patients with COVID-19 who developed sexual dysfunction. The study observed them while they were infected and when they were recovering. Several cardiovascular risk factors involved in sexual dysfunctions, such as smoking, diabetes, and hyperhomocysteinemia, are also possible predictors of worse outcomes in COVID-19 patients.
The study related vascular performance to erectile function. COVID-19 is likely to affect the fragile vascular bed of the penis, resulting in damaged erectile function. However, the paper stated that a lack of other known risk factors for erectile dysfunction points to the role of COVID-19 as the contributing factor.
Science journal 'Nature' published a report by the International Journal of Impotence which studied the impact of the COVID-19 on sexuality among couples from Turkey. The study involved a total of 245 subjects (148 males and 97 women). According to the findings, as the level of anxiety, despair, and stress perception grew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, both male and female volunteers had increased sexual dysfunctions. The report concluded by saying that further studies including more people may better clarify the effects of this pandemic on sexuality.
As per Science Direct, 39 clinical sexologists aged 32 to 73 participated in an online qualitative exploratory survey with four open-ended questions. As a result, the context of COVID-19 is likely to produce sexual dysfunction and difficulties. Mental health concerns produced by COVID-19 were thought to be a precursory to sexual difficulties and hence had an indirect effect on sexual disorders.
Though some people may have had erectile dysfunction during the pandemic, several factors play a role in erectile dysfunction with different symptoms and there is no clear evidence to establish a direct link to COVID-19 infection alone.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.