Loss of weight, taste and smell plus breathing issues, are some of the long-term effects expected in coronavirus patients. However, recently, erectile dysfunction has emerged as one of the effects.
A good number of men who’ve had the virus have complained of erectile dysfunction.
According to Dr. Peter Mungai Ngugi, a senior surgeon and urologist, most patients who got the virus already had underlying conditions like diabetes and hypertension that already cause erectile dysfunction.
“Even when you don’t have an underlying condition, age can also cause erectile dysfunction. Most patients are 50 plus, so that is also a factor. Apart from that, Covid-19 causes a lot of stress that can play a big part in erectile dysfunction,” said Dr. Mungai
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He added that Covid -19 affects blood flow and erectile dysfunction occurs when blood flow to the penis is limited.
However, Dr. Mungai assures that erectile dysfunction can be fixed once the blood is flowing without hindrances.
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“It might take a while to recover but once the veins are unblocked and the blood is flowing everything goes back to normal."
In July, a study was conducted in Italy that found erectile dysfunction to be a risk factor for Covid-19 pneumonia that mostly affects elderly patients.
According to the study’s lead author Emmanuele Jannini, Professor of Endocrinology and Medical Sexology at the Tor Vergata University of Rome, Covid-19 affects both the mental and physical well-being, so erectile dysfunction is not necessarily a surprising consequence of the disease.
“People infected with coronavirus who have previously suffered erectile dysfunction may also be more prone to developing Covid-19 pneumonia. That’s because pneumonia entails the same comorbidities that are often associated with erectile dysfunction, including respiratory difficulties, inflammation, hormonal issues, stress, anxiety, depression and endothelial dysfunction or when the lining of the small arteries constricts,” said Jannini.
According to Healthline.com Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.
Occasional ED isn’t uncommon. Many men experience it during times of stress. Frequent ED, however, can be a sign of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign of emotional or relationship difficulties that may need to be addressed by a professional.
What can cause an erection?
An erection is the result of increased blood flow into your penis. Blood flow is usually stimulated by either sexual thoughts or direct contact with your penis.
When a man is sexually excited, muscles in the penis relax. This allows for increased blood flow through the penile arteries, filling two chambers inside the penis. As the chambers fill with blood, the penis grows rigid.
An erection ends when the muscles contract and the accumulated blood can flow out through the penile veins.
What are the main causes of erectile dysfunction?
Hypertension, diabetes cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels, low testosterone levels or other hormone imbalances, obesity, stress, anxiety, depression, kidney disease, increased age, abuse of alcohol and tobacco etc.
How can erectile dysfunction be treated?
According to Dr. Mungai, the treatment a patient will get will highly depend on the cause.
“If the erectile dysfunction is caused by psychological problems, medics will take care of that. If it’s blood disorders or high blood pressure, that should also be taken care of."
However, Dr. Mungai says if the treatment does not work then medicine will be introduced.
“We introduce PDE5 inhibitors if the above treatment does not work. The major PDE5 inhibitors include Viaga, Cialis, Levitra and stendra. If that does not work the patient will be given intracavernosal injections that he will be trained to inject every time the erection fails and if the challenge continues we can have a penile implant.”