Does Covid-19 affect sexual performance? Preliminary evidence suggests this could
Despite all the talk surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine and conspiracy theories that abound, little has been said about the coronavirus itself and its implications for one of life’s greatest moments in the past: sex. Rather, the dominant rhetoric has been that of anti-vaccines and those who seek to discredit the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, those who ignore the scientific rigor that has not only made it possible to develop a vaccine, but also to test its safety. As the vaccine rollout here in Australia continues, questions continue to abound and for many, the possibility of side effects that could impact their sexual activity appears to be at the forefront.
Just recently the world of Twitter was rocked when Nicki Minaj shared a story that she will only get the vaccine “after I have done enough research.” I’m working on this now. Minaj then told a bizarre story about her cousin in Trinidad who “will not receive the vaccine because her friend received it and has become impotent”. She added, “His testicles became swollen. Her friend was a few weeks away from getting married, now the girl has called off the wedding.
It’s something you’d expect from a budget thriller on Netflix, and after tweeting, many were quick to dismiss Minaj’s claims. No research suggests that Covid-19 vaccines can affect sexual performance, including sperm production, erectile dysfunction, or swollen testes. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests, “There is no evidence that vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, cause problems with male fertility. Instead, the side effects you can expect from the vaccine include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, fever, and chills, but these vary from person to person. other and depending on the vaccine you are receiving. More importantly, these side effects are temporary (which usually only last a day or two) and tend to be more severe after the second dose, compared to the first.
But while there may not be any side effects on sexual performance from the Covid-19 vaccine, preliminary evidence suggests that the virus itself could cause problems, especially for those with a penis. A small study published in the journal Andrology looked at survey data for 100 sexually active men (25 have had Covid-19 at some point versus 75 who have not). The results revealed that men who had Covid-19 were much more likely to report having erectile dysfunction than those who did not have the virus.
Likewise, a study published in the World Journal of Men’s Health examined tissue samples from four people, two of whom previously had Covid-19, who were undergoing surgery to treat severe erectile dysfunction. They detected viral particles in the tissues of both participants even though they had overcome their infections. There was also evidence of problems with the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels in those who had contracted Covid-19. This led the researchers to suggest that the virus can affect sexual function by damaging these cells.
Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming advice from health officials and medical staff is to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Rather than following Nicki Minaj’s advice, we encourage you to discuss your concerns or questions with your GP and weigh the potential risks and benefits of the vaccine against those of contracting a Covid-19 infection without being vaccinated. .