Relationship between COVID-19 infection and erectile dysfunction; a literature review examining the link and proposed mechanisms behind this phenomenon
1Urology department, Gold Coast University Hospital, 4215 Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Submitted: 20 October 2022 Accepted: 17 January 2023
Online publish date: 13 March 2023
*Corresponding Author(s): Gerard Bray E-mail: email@example.com
It is now only in the wake of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that we are beginning to understand many of the extra-respiratory manifestations of the condition. There is now growing evidence that erectile dysfunction (ED) is closely linked with the disease. We carry out one of the first literature reviews to consolidate the current evidence of the causal link between COVID-19 and ED and explore the proposed mechanisms that underpin this phenomenon. We carried out a literature search of the databases; PubMed (MEDLINE), Scopus, Web of Science and the Cochrane library. Search time frame was between December 2019 and March 2022. Only studies deemed of acceptable quality were included. Five studies were found highlighting the link between COVID-19 and ED. A further Nineteen studies were utilized to illustrate the proposed biological mechanisms underpinning COVID-19 related ED. Clear evidence has been documented through multiple studies internationally recognizing reduction in erectile scores and reduced sexual activity. It appears there is likely indirect and direct cytopathic effects on endothelial cells, in addition to hormonal and psychosocial factors. The associated ED is likely a result of a multitude of mechanisms including direct and indirect endothelial dysfunction, vasoactive cytokines, endocrine dysregulation, and psychosocial factors. This is the first literature review to delve into the likely underpinning mechanisms of the virus that drive ED.
Erectile dysfunction; COVID-19; Virus
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