Could ‘Covid Penis’ be added to the long list of side-effects caused by Covid-19?
Now, this doesn’t mean that getting COVID-19 means you’ll also get Covid Penis and experience ED. But understanding the connection could help you spot the warning signs.
What Is ‘Covid Penis’?
The way the virus impacts your member is through something called endothelial dysfunction, also known as blood vessel dysfunction which causes the blood vessels to fail and be unable to deliver blood.
The existence of endothelial dysfunction as a side effect of COVID-19 isn’t anything new, it’s even been found to cause brain damage in severe cases of COVID-19.
Unfortunately no organs are safe from the dysfunction and the penis is no exception.
What Causes ‘Covid Penis’?
Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D. is the associate professor and director of the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Reproductive Urology program and author of the study linking COVID-19 to erectile dysfunction. On the matter of blood vessel dysfunction, he elaborated:
“Our research shows that COVID-19 can cause widespread endothelial dysfunction in organ systems beyond the lungs and kidneys. The underlying endothelial dysfunction that happens because of COVID-19 can enter the endothelial cells and affect many organs, including the penis. In our pilot study, we found that men who previously did not complain of erectile dysfunction developed pretty severe erectile dysfunction after the onset of COVID-19 infection.”
The driving force behind this new research is the fact that two men who successfully beat their battle with COVID-19 were still experiencing issues with erectile dysfunction, a phenomenon referred to now as Covid Penis. The ED the two men experienced was so severe that they opted for penile implant surgery.
While we wouldn’t wish this on anyone, the men who had to exchange their tool for a new one made a contribution to science that would’ve been a near impossible request to make had they decided to not to.
I don’t know about you, but if someone asked to take a sample of penile tissue while it was still attached, the answer would not have been a cooperative one.
No Man Is Safe But Not All of Us Need to Worry
One important note is that the severity of COVID-19 didn’t have an impact on ED symptoms. Of the two involved in the study, one had only mild COVID-19 symptoms while the other was hospitalized for treatment.
When they went into surgery, there were two other men going through the same surgery unrelated to COVID-19 which gave the research team a control group to compare to. All four men had severe ED, but only the two who had COVID-19 showed signs of endothelial dysfunction and even lingering remnants of the virus itself in the penile tissue.
Even if you’re the picture of health and believe you’ll come out on the other side no worse for wear, the threat of severe ED is still there. The men in the study had been recovering for six to eight months before realizing that the ED symptoms weren’t going away.
“These latest findings are yet another reason that we should all do our best to avoid COVID-19,” said Eliyahu Kresch, first author and medical student working alongside Dr. Ramasamy. “We recommend vaccination and to try to stay safe in general.”
Now before you go spreading the fear of Covid Penis, understand that having two cases of such severe erectile dysfunction doesn’t make it the rule nor the exception. It’s simply cause for investigation as ED symptoms stemming from COVID-19 have been known but such severe instances are cause for concern among medical professionals.
The same blood vessel dysfunction responsible for the ED is the same dysfunction that causes damage to the lungs and other organs in COVID-19 patients.
“We think the penis also could be affected in a similar way,” Ramasamy said. “We don’t think this is a temporary effect. We think this could be permanent.”
The team anticipates more cases of long-term ED to pop up as we get further along the timeline of recovery for those who have struggled with COVID-19.
Final Words of Wisdom
Now this article hasn’t been as light-hearted as our other pieces but given the subject matter, it seemed best to make sure to provide as much direct information as possible. COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction can both have impacts on us that last a lifetime.
If you’ve had COVID-19 and are still experiencing erectile dysfunction of any level, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible to make sure it’s tracked and handled as no one deserves to lose control of the most important tool man possesses.