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Review

Open Access Special Issue

COVID-19 and Erectile Dysfunction

  • Jason P. Nayar1,2,
  • Aidan J. Heslin2
  • Damien B. Beck1
  • Mark R. Wakefield2
  • Yujiang Fang1,2,*,

1Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA 50312, USA

2Department of Surgery, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO 65212, USA

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1809190 Vol.18,Issue 9,September 2022 pp.1-4

Published: 22 September 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers in Men's Health)

*Corresponding Author(s): Yujiang Fang E-mail: yujiang.fang@dmu.edu

Abstract

Background: The SARS-CoV-2 virus displays a strong impact on the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems, and has led to questions about long-term effects. Erectile dysfunction is the inability for a male to achieve or sustain an erection during sexual intercourse, and commonly develops in men due to both physiological and psychologic factors. SARS-CoV-2 can affect the vasculature that surrounds endothelial tissue and thus has raised the question of a possible relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and erectile dysfunction (ED). Thus far, no studies have established a relationship between COVID-19 and ED. In this review, we analyze current available data and summarize the concepts regarding the current known relationship between COVID-19 and ED. Such a study might be helpful for urologists and andrologists to manage patients with ED and a history off COVID-19 infection. Methods: A systematic review was used to analyze the relationship between COVID-19 and ED. A literature search on three databases, Google Scholar, PubMed, and ResearchGate was conducted. Search terms used were COVID-19, erectile dysfunction, and SARS-CoV-2. All available studies were analyzed up to December 2021. Results: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in male reproductive and sexual health diagnoses, including ED, with numbers showing that COVID-19 increases the chance of developing ED nearly sixfold. Physiological issues were also found in the reproductive system of men who had contracted COVID-19. For example, endothelial progenitor cells were much lower in patients positive with COVID-19 even when compared to men with severe ED who had never contracted COVID-19. However, it is still not clear how consistent it is to find SARS-CoV-2 in the reproductive system as one study showed only two out of five testes were positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the reproductive system and another study showed that there were only 3 out of 26 cases in which the SARS-CoV-2 spike existed in the endothelia of the blood-testis barrier, seminiferous tubules, and sperm of the epididymis. Conclusions: Many correlations can be made between COVID-19 and ED. However, future testing and research must be completed to determine a causal relationship between COVID-19 and ED.


Keywords

COVID-19; erectile dysfunction; SARS-CoV-2


Cite and Share

Jason P. Nayar,Aidan J. Heslin,Damien B. Beck,Mark R. Wakefield,Yujiang Fang. COVID-19 and Erectile Dysfunction. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(9);1-4.

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