When the pandemic began, it looked like COVID-19 was simply a deadlier version of flu. It seemed to cause flu-like symptoms that turned into severe pneumonia in some patients.
But the longer the pandemic goes on, the more we find that there’s far more to coronavirus than meets the eye.
It’s really nothing like the flu. Besides being far more lethal, it causes all kinds of unexpected complications. They include loss of smell, heart problems, blood clots, liver and kidney failure, chronic fatigue, and brain issues.
Now, a new study in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation finds that erectile dysfunction may be another surprising result of getting COVID-19.
3 Ways COVID-19 Leads to Erectile Dysfunction
Researchers at the University of Rome point to three factors that can trigger ED in men who’ve had the virus:
1.) Vascular effects. The endothelium is the layer of cells that line your blood vessels. If that inner lining is disrupted and becomes dysfunctional, blood clots can form.
This is why so many COVID-19 patients have clots and strokes. The health of the endothelium in blood vessels of the penis is crucial for proper erectile function. Blood supply to the penis can become blocked or narrowed as a result of worsened vascular condition caused by the virus.
2.) Psychological impact. Sexual activity is closely linked to mental health. Stress and depression caused by having COVID-19 and by the other effects of the pandemic can trigger poor mood and ED.
3.) Low T. The researchers note that some men with COVID-19 develop hypogonadism. This is the medical name for low testosterone. Low T can lead to lower libido and ED.
The researchers concluded: “There is quite enough reason to suspect that male sexual and reproductive health could be affected in (COVID-19) survivors.”
The study has sparked fears that there could be an epidemic of ED after millions of men recover from COVID-19.
“This study is another important example of not knowing enough about the long-term effects of the virus, said urologist Dr. Ryan Berglund.
Of course, the best way for men to avoid coronavirus-caused ED is to remain infection-free.
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