Health & Fitness | September 24, 2021 11:32 am

COVID-19 May Be Affecting Men’s Sexual Performance

Research suggests men may be six times more likely to develop brief or long-term erectile dysfunction after battling the virus

A toy made of plasticine in the hand of a woman, the theme of sexual dysfunctions, the toy symbolizes the penis. Covid-19 may be causing impotence.
Is COVID-19 causing impotence?
Osobystist/Getty Images

Contrary to the famously unhinged claims of a certain rapper apparently determined to destroy what remains of her once-illustrious career, there is no evidence to suggest the COVID-19 vaccine causes swollen testicles, impotence or your fiancé to leave you. Something that might actually harm your precious genitalia and impair your ability to get it up, however, is contracting the virus that vaccine protects against.

The COVID-19 pandemic has long been linked to erectile dysfunction and sexual performance issues, and while some of those problems may be attributed to the stress and emotional toll of simply existing during the chaotic hellscape that is life during a pandemic, recent research suggests the virus itself may also be to blame. A report published in March found that men may be six times more likely to develop brief or long-term erectile dysfunction after contracting the virus, while other research has found evidence of various other post-virus health conditions that may affect the genitals or lead to sexual function, low testosterone levels, inability to orgasm, damage to the testes and testicular pain or swelling.

“We found that men who hadn’t previously had these issues developed pretty severe erectile dysfunction after COVID-19 infection,” urologist Ranjith Ramasamy told National Geographic. After noticing a sharp increase in complaints of sexual dysfunction among patients who had contracted COVID-19, Ramasamy and his colleagues at University of Miami Hospital’s urology clinic performed biopsies on six men between the ages of 20 and 87 who had battled COVID-19 to determine if the virus was present in their reproductive organs. The team found virus particles lurking in both penile tissue and testicles up to eight months after initial infection. Doctors also reportedly found evidence of damage to the lining of tiny blood vessels in the penis, which is a likely culprit for erectile dysfunction.

Previous research supports the presence of the virus in the testicles, with one earlier report even calling the balls virus “reservoirs,” which, yikes.

One thing that won’t harm your precious virus reservoirs? Getting the vaccine.

“It’s important for people to understand that COVID vaccination doesn’t affect erectile function,” said Ramasamy. “The virus can have significant adverse long-term effects, and the vaccine is safe.”

In other words, if you want to keep your dick up and your reservoirs virus-free, go get vaxxed.