November is also known to many as ‘Movember’, which is an opportunity to focus on men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. There has been a lot of concern recently about a possible link between COVID and men’s sexual health. A recent study found that following a positive test for COVID, men may be six times more likely to develop brief or long term erectile dysfunction.
Although COVID is known to cause the most harm to the lungs, it is a systemic disease that can also affect the heart, kidneys, brain and other organs including the reproductive system. And those who have contracted the virus can often suffer long-lasting effects.
Post Virus Erectile Dysfunction
Ongoing research has revealed that a number of men who had previously been fit and healthy actually developed erectile dysfunction after having the COVID virus. In March 2021, research revealed direct links between the virus and erectile dysfunction in men.
One study collected penile tissue from patients who were recovered from symptomatic COVID infections but had subsequently developed severe erectile dysfunction. The evidence demonstrated the presence of the COVID virus in penile tissue long after the initial infection had passed.
COVID and Sexual Performance
Vascular integrity is necessary for erectile function which paired with endothelial damage (cells that line blood vessels) caused by COVID, is directly linked with poor sexual function. The damage the virus causes to endothelial cells which line the blood vessels and it is believed that this is the most likely explanation for the link to poor sexual performance.
Further studies also detail a number of post-infection issues which impact men’s sexual health including the inability to maintain an erection, damage to the testes, testicular pain or swelling, inability to achieve an orgasm, low testosterone levels and mental health issues.
The testicles can act as a hideout of the viral cells which cause COVID. This may help to explain why 11% of men who are hospitalised with COVID have suffered from testicular pain.
Are There Links to the COVID Vaccine?
No. There has been speculation that the COVID vaccine causes issues such as swollen testicles and impotence, however, scientists believe it is important for individuals to understand that there are no links to suggest that the vaccine is linked to erectile function.
If you are concerned about your fertility or the impact of COVID on your sexual health, please contact us today to find out how we can help. Or if you or your partner is experiencing testicular pain, we can carry out a physical examination in the comfort of your own home.