The Truth About The Connection Between COVID-19 And ED

If you needed more motivation to wear a mask and avoid crowds, here you go: coronavirus has been linked to erectile dysfunction, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. Some male survivors of COVID-19 will have lasting damage that affects blood flow to the penis, and the long-term psychological effects of anxiety and depression also can affect sexual performance, researchers found.


"Erectile dysfunction can be a marker of overall health," urologist Ryan Berglund, M.D., explained to Cleveland Clinic. "So particularly for young and healthy people who abruptly develop erectile dysfunction, and especially after having COVID-19, this can be a sign of something more serious going on." Berglund also said the study showed that coronavirus may damage a man's testicles–although there's not enough evidence yet whether men who had the infection will have fertility issues. "We know there are a number of different ways that the virus could cause erectile dysfunction, but much more research is needed before we know for sure," he added.

Male performance issues are one of many long-term COVID complications

According to infectious disease expert Dr. Dena Grayson, these findings are simply more evidence of COVID-19's long-term damage. "We now know that people can have long term health effects from this virus, neurologic complications, and now, for men who are watching this — there is some real concern here that men could have long term issues of erectile dysfunction from this virus, because we know that it causes issues in the vasculature," she told Chicago's NBC affiliate network.


Other problems suffered by "COVID long haulers," a term used to describe approximately 10 percent of coronavirus sufferers who don't make a complete recovery after the disease runs its course, include shortness of breath, brain fog, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, and a loss of taste and smell, University of California at Davis Health reported. "This study is another important example of not knowing enough about the long-term effects of the virus," Berglund noted. "Time and more research are needed until we have a better understanding. That's why it's so important to follow safety guidelines, take this seriously and slow the spread."