Another serious side effect of the COVID-19 virus that has a lot of men concerned involves erectile dysfunction. As the long term effects of this virus are not known and there is still a substantial amount of research to be done, current research is helping to shed more light on the impact that the virus has on our bodies as a whole, including sexual and reproductive health.
Research has shown that men who contract COVID-19 and recover are also experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED). This can be due to three factors that are strongly associated with ED that additionally have links to the side effects of the virus.
1. Impact on vascular system
As ED is a common predictor of heart disease, scientists know that that the reproductive system is closely linked with the vascular system. Blood supply to the penis can potentially become blocked or narrowed due to hyperinflammation of the muscles surrounding the heart and as a result, cause ED.
2. Impact on Psychological health
It has been well documented that sexual health is also associated with mental health. The impact of severe stress, anxiety and depression caused by the virus and the ongoing pandemic has been strongly linked to sexual dysfunction.
3. Overall health deterioration
Previous studies have shown that men with poor health are more likely to develop and experience ED in addition to a more severe reaction to the COVID-19 virus. As ED can be a marker of overall health, experts have emphasised that it is deeply concerning seeing more young and healthy men abruptly develop ED after contracting COVID-19.
Additionally, research regarding testicular health and the COVID-19 is also deeply concerning. Scientists are still investigating as to if the testicular damage following the infection is permanent or only temporary, however, it’s important to consider the long-term health effects and how it could impact fertility.
During this uncertain time, as we continue to learn more about the COVID-19 virus and its variants, it’s vitally important to follow the safety guidelines set in place by NSW Health and ensure you receive your vaccination when you’re eligible to help protect yourself and those around you.