Last year, patients with recovered COVID found that several organs in their body had been affected or damaged due to the coronavirus. The most common is lung damage, but other organs such as the liver, heart, and kidneys have also not been immune to the after-effects of a strong COVID-19 infection.
In fact, recent studies show that the COVID-19 virus also causes erectile dysfunction in men and affects their fertility. In a well-titled research article, called “Mask up to keep it up” published in March 2021 in the journal Andrology, it was stated that there is a correlation between erectile dysfunction and COVID-19.
The study, which was conducted in Italian men, cites that COVID-19 destroys the cardiovascular system, causing diseases of the blood vessels, which in turn affect a man’s erection. In another study published in the World Journal of Men’s Health, it was found that the COVID-19 virus is present in the penis long after the initial infection in humans. The results of the study suggested that widespread endothelial cell dysfunction from COVID-19 infection may contribute to erectile dysfunction. “Future studies will evaluate new molecular mechanisms of how COVID-19 infection leads to ED,” the study stated.
Although many similar studies have not yet been conducted in India, medical health experts claim to have seen several people experiencing erectile dysfunction after recovering from COVID-19. Dr. SS Vasan, DNB-Urology / Genito-Urinary Surgery, told News18: “I have worked with 8 to 9 patients who have reported erectile dysfunction after covid recovery. However, seeing a correlation does not mean that there is any causality. To understand whether erectile dysfunction actually occurs from COVID-19, we need to have more studies. So far we have seen questionnaire-based studies and the links that have been established have been made mainly through the power of the association, but we need more concrete scientific evidence. “
“It is possible that there is a good chance that, as in the toes COVID, where the vascular system is affected after COVID, we also see erectile dysfunction after COVID due to a similar vasculitis. However, it must be said that it is not specific to the penis. It affects all organs with the same size of artery. Other studies will corroborate whether vasculitis effectively causes ED and, in this case, whether patients with COVID experience different levels of ED after recovery, ”he added.
Dr. Vasan noted that the way we can associate COVID-19 with erectile dysfunction is by taking a look at the patient’s endothelial function test. “If a patient’s pre-COVID test was normal, but after COVID, it shows abnormal results and also experiences ED, we associate COVID and ED.”
“Right now, we have to wait and see if post-COVID ED is a temporary condition or a permanent dysfunction. We do not have enough data to draw conclusions. We are trying to see if we can prevent this problem by giving a higher dose of antioxidants and other drugs to treat the problem, ”added Dr. Vasan.
However, in a society like India, the anatomical problem of erectile dysfunction is only a small aspect of larger social and gender issues and mental health struggles.
Dr Gautam Banga, a Delhi-based reconstructive urologist and andrologist, told News18: “However, it is not just the infection; the pandemic has been the cause of erectile dysfunction in many cases. For many people, this the last year has been full of financial struggles, the pain of losing loved ones, living in close areas with large families, conflict and facing problems of intimacy or loneliness.All of these factors can be stressors that lead to erectile dysfunction. Therefore, it is very necessary to treat the mental health aspect of this sexual problem. “
“In my experience, the sex lives of young people, especially those aged 20 and 30, have been the most affected during this pandemic. Single people no longer have social life and therefore no new sex partners or regular sex life (which they had before the pandemic). And those who are married are tied to their computers because they work according to the house rule, so they don’t know how to separate time and have a good time with family. There is also so much uncertainty around pregnancy during COVID. Some men are too scared that if their women conceive during this time, they should go to hospitals and be exposed to the virus and therefore have abstained from sexual activities (because we all know that condoms are not safe). of failures). “Explained .
However, although many experience ED during this pandemic, not everyone comes close to addressing the problem. In Indian society, where a man’s power is often related to his power, men often hesitate to argue or seek help for their sexual health problems. “Erectile dysfunction can also be stopped in many cases, which will only lead to more conflicts and frustrations. Therefore, they should be encouraged to seek medical help, especially if they have gone through a life-threatening illness such as COVID, ”Dr Banga noted.
“Erectile dysfunction is also higher among those with comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, which are also stressful for COVID-19. If we can control these comorbidities, we see that the patient’s erectile dysfunction can also be controlled. There are also supportive medications that can be taken before sexual activity, a change in lifestyle will also help control erection problems. The relationship with the couple also contributes greatly to a positive mood, ”he added.
If all else fails, there are also advanced methods such as vacuum pump devices, intracavernous (or intracavernous) injection, and a penis implant.
“The stress of this pandemic is likely to affect male fertility. Most patients are taking so many pills during this time. And in many cases, they self-medicate out of fear rather than out of necessity. This constant saving of pills is likely to harm men’s fertility, ”Dr Banga noted.
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