COVID-19 Causes Erectile Dysfunction, Medical Evidence Says | Digital Trends Spanish
After little more than a year studying the coronavirus, science begins to fully understand how it affects our systems and organs, from the lungs, through the brain and reaching the gastrointestinal tract. And now, they are beginning to have indications that SARS-CoV-2 also affects the male reproductive system and that includes the possibility of causing erectile dysfunction.
That’s what a report says published in the magazine Open Biology and prepared by scientists at the University of Assam, in India.
“The evidence points towards the possibility of testicular damage, which in turn can affect the fertility potential of men,” Shubhadeep Roychoudhury told the portal Inverse.
The specialist points out that the evidence is only preliminary, but only because long-term and large-scale data do not yet exist. Despite this, the studies reviewed indicate that the risk to male sexual health lies in the fact that COVID-19 enters cells through ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme-2) receptors. And the testicles are organs with a high concentration of this type of receptors, which according to experts, generates inflammation that affects the production of sperm and sex hormones, in addition to contributing to erectile dysfunction.
Another factor related to COVID-19 that represents a risk to men’s reproductive health is inflammation of the heart and surrounding muscles, which could block or limit the blood supply to the penis, causing erectile dysfunction.
The development of COVID-19 has also been shown to affect the endocrine system. Specialists say that in the case of men, the affectations would alter the production of testosterone.
“The most urgent after-effect to be investigated is whether inflammatory effects on testicular tissues and the epididymis have the potential to disrupt the spermatogenesis process and put sperm viability at risk,” Roychoudhury notes.
So far, science has shown that COVID-19 affects men more, not only in the incidence of cases but also in their severity. At the same time, statistics say that they are more reluctant to comply with sanitary measures, starting with the use of masks. If the risk of a deadly disease hasn’t caught on with men too much, perhaps the possibility of developing erectile dysfunction is a better warning.