Researchers Link Erectile Dysfunction to Penile Damage from Covid-19

Vaccination may protect men from this sexual health complication

Dr Jeff Livingston
Medium Coronavirus Blog
4 min readMay 18, 2021

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Photo: Jon Tyson/Unsplash

Medical researchers from the Department of Urology at the University Of Miami Miller School of Medicine have uncovered compelling motivation for men to get vaccinated against Covid-19. A new study shows long-term damage to the penis long after Covid-19 infections.

The Urology department pilot study sought to analyze penile tissue of men who recovered from symptomatic Covid-19 infection and developed erectile dysfunction (ED) after the infection.

The small study evaluated penile tissue collected from four men scheduled for penile prosthesis surgery due to erectile dysfunction. Two men had a history of Covid-19 infection, and the other two men had no history of illness.

Covid-19 is known to cause widespread damage to blood vessels throughout the body. SARS-CoV-2 causes damage to the cell layer lining blood vessels called endothelial cells. Endothelial cells contain two components that SARS-CoV-2 needs to infect cells. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds to specialized receptors called ACE-2 and enters cells containing an enzyme called TMPRSS-2. Blood vessels have a high number of both ACE-2 receptors and TMPRSS-2.

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Dr Jeff Livingston
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Obgyn, Husband, Father, & Entrepreneur. Writing about Women’s Health, Parenting, and Self-improvement. CEO of MacArthurmc.com & founder of Medika.life