COVID-19 can infect penile tissue and lead to erectile dysfunction – study | World news
COVID-19 can infect penile tissue and potentially contribute to erectile dysfunction, researchers have found.
A scientific research article published in the World Journal of Men’s Health observed the difference in tissue composition between men who contracted the disease and men who did not.
COVID can damage blood vessels, which in turn can damage parts of the body that the vessels supply, including the sponge-like tissue in the penis.
Ranjith Ramasamy, associate professor and director of the reproductive urology program at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, led the study.
He said erectile dysfunction “could be a side effect of the virus.”
The study focused on four men who were undergoing penile prosthesis surgery for erectile dysfunction.
Two had suffered from COVID-19 and two had not. They were all aged 65 to 71 and of Hispanic ethnicity.
The couple who had the coronavirus were infected six and eight months before the observations, one hospitalized with the virus and the other not.
Neither had a history of erectile dysfunction.
Remnants of the virus were seen in the penile tissue of the two COVID-positive men.
The damage caused by COVID to blood vessels is known as endothelial dysfunction.
Dr Ramasamy said: “In our pilot study, we found that men who previously did not complain of erectile dysfunction [erectile dysfunction] developed fairly severe erectile dysfunction after the onset of COVID-19 infection. “
He added, “Our research shows that COVID-19 can cause widespread endothelial dysfunction in organ systems beyond the lungs and kidneys.
“The underlying endothelial dysfunction that occurs from COVID-19 can enter endothelial cells and affect many organs, including the penis.”
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Eliyahu Kresch, a medical student working with Dr Ramasamy, said: “These latest findings are another reason we should all do our best to avoid COVID-19.”
The document suggested, “For now, the history of COVID-19 should be included in the work of erectile dysfunction and the positive results should be investigated accordingly.
“Patients should be aware of the potential complication of post-COVID-19 erectile dysfunction.
“Any changes observed in erectile dysfunction after infection should be followed up with the appropriate specialist for treatment and to help further investigation of the condition.
“Future studies are needed to validate the effects of this virus on sexual function.”