COVID-19 News and Updates: March/April 2022 #5

Research Links COVID Infections to an Increased Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

Frank McGeorge, M.D. and Kayla Clarke

March 3, 2022 ( — COVID-19 has been throwing us curveballs for more than two years but one impact is difficult to talk about for many people.

Research finds that people assigned male at birth face an increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction after having COVID. Many urologists want to get the word out, hopeful that increased awareness will lead to more willingness to get vaccinated.

Very early in the pandemic, there was some research linking erectile dysfunction to COVID infections. However, many doctors weren’t sure what to make of the link, as new information was still evolving. Now, more than two years later, and after hundreds of millions of infections worldwide, urologists want men to be aware they are seeing a problem.

Dr. Amarnath Rambhatla, the Director of Men’s Health at the Henry Ford Hospital Vattikuti Urology Institute, says they have definitely seen men coming into their clinic complaining of post-COVID erectile dysfunction (ED), and some have never had any evidence of ED prior to contracting COVID.

In fact, the problem has reached a level that a group of over 40 urologists from around the country, calling themselves “Urologists United for Vaccination Education”, created a public service announcement that uses humor to explain the risk.

In the PSA they say, “men who have COVID are 6 times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction.” Their website further states, “studies have shown that COVID can affect the blood vessels of the penis in a similar way that it affects the blood vessels of the lungs, preventing them from providing enough blood to the penis to cause an erection.”

Doctor Rambhatla, who is not affiliated with the group, agrees.

“There have been larger-scale studies that have showed about a 20% increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction after COVID,” Rambhatla said.


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