Trusted for 23+ Years
COVID & Erectile Dysfunction
Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
Still Much To Learn
As COVID continues to mutate and vaccines are evolving, there is a great deal we need to learn as well as new information coming in all the time. That is why if you have any questions or concerns about how COVID or a COVID Vaccine could affect your health, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider for the latest information and how your specific health concerns may be impacted. For more guidance also see our How To Talk To Your Doctor About Sex Guide.
How COVID Affects Erections
COVID affects the cardiovascular system, which can impact the circulatory system. Damage to endothelial cells (which line blood vessels) can occur. This damage to the cardiovascular system and endothelial cells caused by COVID is what can cause issues with erectile dysfunction. Other ways that COVID impacts sexual functioning in men is through psychological impacts and overall health deterioration. In addition, there have been some reports of penis shrinkage and loss of libido.
It is difficult to know how long these issues typically will last, especially as long-COVID impacts people weeks or months after being infected by the virus. It seems that in some cases, long COVID can last for months, even if one had mild symptoms or none at all.
See our related guide: Sex Toys For Erectile Dysfunction
What Research Has Been Indicating
- A study by Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, director of male reproductive medicine and surgery for the University of Miami Health System, has shown that the risk of being diagnosed with ED is 20% higher in men with COVID. Other studies in China and Italy have confirmed this link to ED and the virus.
- There have been 60 studies that have demonstrated that ED is a possibility after contracting COVID.
- High fevers from COVID can drastically drop sperm counts and sperm motility.
- The functioning of the penis and erections can be adversely affected by COVID due to compromising blood flow to the penis via endothelial cell function.
- Post-COVID cases of ED may be a warning that damage to the heart has occurred and that cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, or strokes may be a risk.
- It has been determined that the virus can be found in the endothelial cells of the penis as well as the prostate and testicles for as long as seven months after infection.
- Because there is a reluctance to report ED due to the sensitive nature of the topic, the statistics may be higher than researchers are finding.
Sexual Performance After COVID Vaccines
There is no evidence that taking the COVID-19 vaccines alters sexual performance. With the vaccine causing some brief symptoms such as fever and fatigue for a couple of days, there may be some loss of sexual desire from feeling slight malaise. Still, nothing verified scientifically has been reported at this time.
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding COVID, but the most critical aspect is to ensure that you protect your health and do what is right for you. Follow the science and use critical thinking when exploring information regarding COVID.