Scientists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have recently found that even after recovering from COVID-19, the virus can still be thriving in the penis tissue.
The study, published in The World Journal of Men’s Health on May 7, explains that the coronavirus causes widespread blood vessel dysfunction which increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.
“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,” research author Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D. said, an associate professor and director of the Miller School’s Reproductive Urology Program.
“In our pilot study, we found that men who previously did not complain of erectile dysfunction developed pretty severe erectile dysfunction after the onset of COVID-19 infection,” he added.
Upon experimenting, Ramasamy and others saw that COVID-19 was still present in the penile tissue of two men who were previously infected but none were found in two other men who avoided contracting the disease.
“This suggests that 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,” Dr. Ramasamy said.
Erectile dysfunction is when a man can’t get erected long enough to satisfy his partner.
The coronavirus also damages other organs such as the kidneys, lungs, and brain.