Doctors believe there is a relationship between Covid-19 and erectile dysfunction, and anecdotal evidence suggests that a rising number of men infected with the virus are experiencing the problem.
However, COVID-19 vaccinations do not induce erectile dysfunction or male infertility, contrary to popular belief on social media. Studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, puts both diseases at risk.
There has been little study into how the virus or vaccinations impact the male reproductive system until recently. However, a new study conducted by physicians and academics at the University of California, Berkeley analysed the autopsy tissues of the testicles of six men who died of COVID-19 infection.
The virus was found in the penile tissue of two individuals who had penile implants seven to nine months after their COVID-19 diagnosis. Both men had experienced significant erectile dysfunction, which was most likely caused by a reduction in blood flow to the penis as a result of the infection.
Another patient, who had recovered from COVID-19, received a testis biopsy three months after his infection had cleaned up. The virus was still present in his testicles, according to the biopsies.
Mumps and Zika viruses have also been reported to infect the testicles and cause inflammation. Up to 20% of males infected with these viruses will have sperm production problems.