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Is it true that Covid-19 causes impotence in men?

Claim: Covid-19 causes impotence

Source: A widely circulated message on social media platforms claimed that Covid-19 causes impotence in men.

Verdict: Inconclusive

Impotence is a common problem among men characterised by the consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse or the inability to achieve ejaculation or both.

According to a study in the journal of urology published in 2000, impotence is said to be four-fold higher in men in their 60s compared with those in their 40s.

According to a BMC Public Health study, persons age 65  years or older had strikingly higher COVID-19 mortality rates compared to younger individuals, and men had a higher risk of COVID-19 death than women.

A medical practitioner, Dr Norman Matara said the link between erectile dysfunction and COVID-19 is still not yet clear.  

“The issue of erectile dysfunction is complex because there are a lot of issues that contribute to this condition. There are some cases where people who do not have Covid-19 suffer this condition. More studies are yet to be conducted to ascertain how much damage this virus causes in terms of sustaining an erection,” he said.

Dr Norman Matara

A research by Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical centre, found that there could be negative effects on men’s sexual health due to coronavirus.

The study found that surviving COVID-19 may be associated with erectile dysfunction (ED). The research points to three factors that can lead to the potential onset of ED in men who have had the virus:

“Vascular effects. Erectile function is a predictor of heart disease, so we know that the vascular system and reproductive system are connected. We also know that COVID-19 can cause hyper inflammation throughout the body, especially in the heart and surrounding muscles. Blood supply to the penis can become blocked or narrowed as a result of a new or worsened vascular condition caused by the virus,” the report read.

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