COVID-19 can linger in men’s penises for six months after infection and can increase the risk of impotence, experts have warned.
The virus is know to attack the lungs as a result of blood vessels narrowing.
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Experts have warned that this is another consequence of how damaging coronavirus can beCredit: Getty
This is known as endothelial dysfunction where the lining of the small blood vessels fails to perform all of its functions normally.
The tissues supplied by those vessels could undergo damage and experts in Miami have now claimed that this damage goes beyond the lungs.
Study author Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., associate professor and director of the Miller School’s Reproductive Urology Program said: “Our research shows that Covid-19 can cause widespread endothelial dysfunction in organ systems beyond the lungs and kidneys.
“The underlying endothelial dysfunction that happens because of Covid-19 can enter the endothelial cells and affect many organs, including the penis.”
The experts looked at tissue from two men with a history of Covid-19 and two men who hadn’t had the virus.
One of the men who had the virus had been hospitalised and the other had experienced mild symptoms.
The patients were aged 65 and 71 and had been infected with the virus six and eight months prior to the study.
The images above show the tissue of the men who had been infected with coronavirusCredit: Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy/University of Miami Health System
Both had reportedly been struggling to get an erection.
The experts found that the virus was present in the tissue of both of the men who had been infected and both men had evidence of endothelial dysfunction – while the two men who had not been infected, didn’t.
Dr Ramasamy said that these latest findings cement the fact that we all need to do what we can in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
He added: “Men who develop Covid-19 infection should be aware that erectile dysfunction could be an adverse effect of the virus, and they should go to a physician if they develop ED symptoms.”
The experts added that this could be the first step in understanding the virus’s potential impact on male fertility and whether Covid-19 can be sexually transmitted.
Last year experts warned there had been a spike in men suffering from erectile dysfunction – but claimed that this may have been down to the stress of the pandemic.
However, over a third of people who catch Covid-19 don’t display any symptoms and could have the virus without knowing it.
This means that some men may had erectile dysfunction which was in fact cause by the virus – and not the stress surrounding it.
It had also previously been reported that one man had suffered a four hour erection after contracting Covid.
The 62-year-old, from France, was in hospital being treated for severe Covid-19 when he started suffering with the condition – known as priapism.
Medics said it was caused by trapped blood in the penis, which they drained and discovered was full of blood clots.
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