Coronavirus persists in penis and could cause impotence
THURSDAY, May 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Men now have another compelling reason to get the COVID-19 vaccine – doctors suspect the new coronavirus could make it difficult to carry out in the bedroom.
How? ‘Or’ What? Coronavirus infection is already known to damage blood vessels, and the vessels that supply blood to the penis seem to be no exception.
Researchers armed with an electron microscope found particles of the coronavirus in penile tissue samples taken from two former COVID-19 patients who became impotent as a result of their infection, which occurred six and eight months earlier.
Further study found signs of damage to blood vessels in the penises of COVID-19 patients, compared to two other men with erectile dysfunction who had never been infected, researchers reported on May 7 in the Global Journal of Men’s Health.
“We found that the virus affects the blood vessels that supply the penis, causing erectile dysfunction,” said lead researcher Dr Ranjith Ramasamy, director of the Reproductive Urology program at the Miller School of Medicine. ‘University of Miami. “The blood vessels themselves are malfunctioning and not able to supply enough blood to enter the penis for an erection.”
Ramasamy compared this to organ damage in the lungs, kidneys and brain that has been found in COVID-19 patients.
“We think the penis could also be affected in the same way,” Ramasamy said. “We don’t think this is a temporary effect. We think it could be permanent.”
The new report focused on two recovered COVID-19 patients undergoing penile prosthesis surgery for their erectile dysfunction. Both men had normal erectile function before their infections.
One of the men had been seriously ill with COVID-19 and spent two weeks in hospital before recovering, but otherwise was free from chronic health issues.
The other man had a relatively mild case of COVID-19, but suffered from blocked arteries and high blood pressure before he became infected.
Both men still had COVID-19 particles in their penile tissue, as well as evidence of endothelial dysfunction – a condition in which the linings of small blood vessels do not function properly and fail to provide adequate blood supply to the various parts of the body.
In comparison, two COVID-free men also undergoing erectile dysfunction surgery had no evidence of the same type of damage to the small blood vessels in their penises.
“I think it’s probably not something that men are currently discussing with everything that’s going on,” Ramasamy said. “I’m fairly certain that in the next six months to a year, we’ll probably have a better idea of the true prevalence of erectile dysfunction in COVID-positive men.”
It makes sense that COVID-19 could affect men in this way, given the virus’s ability to cause inflammation and damage blood vessels, said Dr Ash Tewari, chair of urology at the Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai, New York. .
However, Tewari warned that men shouldn’t panic until more research is done.
“One or two patients don’t make it a fact, but it’s worth studying from our perspective,” Tewari said. “COVID is an endothelial dysfunction. The small arteries in the heart can be affected in the same way that blood vessels in the penis can be affected.”
Ramasamy urged former COVID-19 patients now suffering from erectile dysfunction to see a doctor.
“Don’t think it’s something that will go away on its own. We think it might be a lasting effect, not a temporary one,” Ramasamy said.
There is one more tip he has for worried men about this.
“Don’t get COVID. Get vaccinated, so you don’t get COVID,” Ramasamy said.
The Cleveland Clinic has more on COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction.
SOURCES: Ranjith Ramasamy, director, Reproductive Urology Program, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami; Ash Tewari, MD, president, urology, Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York City; Global Journal of Men’s Health, May 7, 2021, online