ED and COVID-19

01 September, 2021  |  Raja

ED and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a global issue for more than a year and a half now. Despite all this time, we are still learning new details about the health-related problems among people suffering from Long COVID. Long COVID-19 is the term used to describe the symptoms that last for longer than four weeks after getting infected for COVID-19.

From the beginning of this pandemic, doctors have suspected that COVID-19 can cause erectile dysfunction during the infection and the Long COVID-19 period. The exact mechanisms behind this are still being studied, but the link between COVID-19 and ED is undeniable.


The links between COVID-19 and Erectile Dysfunction

Although researchers are currently trying to determine the exact relation between ED and COVID-19, we do, however, have some idea of how COVID-19 can lead to Erectile Dysfunction, both while infected and during the long COVID-19 period.

The impact of COVID-19 on overall health

Erectile dysfunction can be an indication of further underlying health issues. Men with poor health are more likely to develop ED and experience any adverse reaction to COVID-19.  Among young and healthy men, a sudden onset of ED after contracting COVID-19 is especially worrying.

Due to the wide range of possible health complications of COVID-19, men should not suffer silently for months and hope that the ED will go away on its own. It is critical to seek medical attention in the early stages of Erectile Dysfunction, especially after COVID-19. Early intervention can better address the problem and keep it from worsening.


The Cardiovascular Impact of COVID-19

It is well known that the vascular system and the reproductive system are closely linked together. COVID-19 has been shown to produce hyper inflammation throughout the body, particularly in the heart and adjacent muscles. The degraded performance of the cardiovascular system can cause the flow of blood to the penis to become obstructed, which can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.


The impact of COVID-19 on blood flow

Inflammation can occur during or after a COVID-19 infection. It is one of the main factors that may cause Erectile Dysfunction during long COVID.  As the immune system attempts to fight off the virus, many people tend to also experience hyper inflammation.

Hyperinflammation can lead to the development of small blood clots and inflammation of the endothelium(lining the blood vessels). This disrupts the normal flow of blood, leading to Erectile Dysfunction.

The blood flow concern has risen to prominence among health practitioners, who now undertake further exams on patients to check for any abnormality. Raman Tanwar, MBBS, MS, FMAS, MCh, Department of Urology and Andrology, Jyoti Hospital, Gurugram, noted that "COVID-19 infection leads to widespread endothelial dysfunction which means that the linings of blood vessels do not function properly once infected. For erection, the optimal function of blood vessel lining is needed, and many studies across the world are finding an increased incidence of erectile dysfunction in positive patients. Studies have also pointed out that those who have ED are more likely to have COVID-19 infection".

Sexual function and the psychological impact of COVID-19

Sexual health is closely related to mental health and well-being. Pandemic-related worries and anxieties can, therefore, cause erectile dysfunction.  Moreover, isolation and financial struggles have also been magnified during the pandemic, leading to more loneliness and depression, diminished sexual function, and subsequently more erectile dysfunction.