If you lost interest in sex after recovering from COVID-19 and if it has been over few months and you haven’t got your libido back, then, it could probably be a long covid symptom and you might be having Erectile Dysfunction as per the study published here. What COVID-19 does to the body exactly after it enters is still unknown. All our medical experts know are the symptoms the body can show and some antibiotic therapies.
Common symptoms of COVID-19
Covid-19 is a viral infection. Of course, by now you know it right. Typical symptoms of most viral infections are fever, flu like symptoms, rashes, fatigue etc. Symptoms specific to Covid-19 are shortness of breath, formation of blood clots, loss of smell, loss of taste, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), inflammation of blood vessels etc. In most cases, the symptoms subside and your body gets back to normal state. However, this hasn’t been the case for millions of people around the world! As per an article published in The Conversation, about 2 million (20 lakhs) people in the UK alone are suffering from symptoms of long COVID. Imagine the count of those across the world.
What does COVID do to the male reproductive system?
Well, as said, there are no exact findings. All those exist are hypotheses and inferences by the medical experts after examining the reports of patients suffering from long COVID. What has been observed is, the corona virus also enters the scrotum (testicles) and disrupts the normal functioning of the testicles – sperm production and production of testosterone.
Corona virus damages the blood vessels in the body leading to inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels and inflammation of other parts of the body. The high levels of inflammation can lead to the formation of blood clots and the clots combined with inflamed blood vessels prevent normal flow of blood to the erectile tissue in the penis, leading to Erectile Dysfunction. Just so you know, to get an erection, a lot of blood needs to get into the penis and fill up the erectile tissues. That’s the reason why it lengthens and gets hard when you are aroused. Less blood flow means softer erections, no blood flow means no erection.
Medical experts believe that coronavirus may be scarring the erectile tissue. Proper functioning of this spongy erectile tissue is the second most important thing (after production of testosterone) to get an erection. Scarring the erection causing muscles prevents them from normal expansion and contraction leading to weak erections.
We mentioned that coronavirus enters the testicles. It enters the cells with the help of a protein that is present in the testicles and disrupts the normal functionality of the testicles. As a result, production of testosterone and sperm is decreased.
Lower levels of testosterone can lead to hair fall, loss of muscle, lowered libido, decreased energy levels (fatigue) and it can increase the inflammatory response of the body that further damages the blood vessels. A double whammy!
Persistent symptoms of covid such as fever or flu or fatigue can put a lot of stress. You may end up visiting the doctor multiple times only to be turned away with no proper treatment but only advised to take enough rest. Stress is a monster and can do any kind of damage to the organs in the body including the functioning of your reproductive parts. This can drop the production of testosterone leading to lower libido and erectile dysfunction.
What are the possible solutions for ED after Covid-19?
As of now, there are no approved treatments for erectile dysfunction after covid. Just the usual protocols to treat ED will be deployed. However, there are a couple of options that you might want to try – PRP to treat damaged erectile tissue and hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating damage to blood vessels, erectile tissues and your stress.
PRP treatment to repair erectile tissue – Platelet Rich Plasma is becoming the preferred treatment when it comes to fixing any damaged or aged muscle in the body. May it be the erectile muscles or the facial muscles or growth of hair using PRP. The platelets in the PRP injection promote the growth of new tissues, helping you in overcoming erectile dysfunction.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – Breathing 100% pure medical grade oxygen for 90 minutes a day (session) and repeating such sessions for 60 days can help your body giving a ton of benefits including – fixing damaged blood vessels, growing new blood vessels where needed, repairing damaged tissues and muscles, recovering from fatigue etc. Click this link to know what medical conditions are treatable with HBOT.