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Is Erectile Dysfunction on The Rise During COVID-19 Lockdown?

Reviewed on 8/5/2020

What Is COVID-19?

Erectile dysfunction or impotence is not an established symptom of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection, though clotting problems caused by the disease could theoretically affect men's sexual function. A suggested rise in rates of people seeking ED treatment is largely attributed to fatigue, anxiety, stress and substance abuse exacerbated by the pandemic lockdowns.
Erectile dysfunction or impotence is not an established symptom of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection, though clotting problems caused by the disease could theoretically affect men's sexual function. A suggested rise in rates of people seeking ED treatment is largely attributed to fatigue, anxiety, stress and substance abuse exacerbated by the pandemic lockdowns.

COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus not previously identified in humans, that is responsible for an outbreak of respiratory illness that has become a global pandemic. COVID-19 is different from other coronaviruses that cause mild illness, such as the common cold.

The name COVID-19 follows the World Health Organization (WHO) practice for naming new human infectious diseases. “CO” stands for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” “D” for disease, and “19” for 2019, the year in which the disease was first identified.

What Are Symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 appear about 2 to 14 days after exposure and include:

Emergency warning signs that require immediate medical attention (call 9-1-1 or go to a hospital’s emergency department): 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse

Less common symptoms of COVID-19 may include: 

Is Erectile Dysfunction on The Rise During COVID-19 Lockdown?

A digital health service in the UK called Superdrug Online Doctor reported a 13% rise in erectile dysfunction services since May. Data from Google Trends also reports that online searches for information regarding erectile dysfunction are at the highest they have been since summer 2019.

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is not a typical symptom of COVID. However, COVID is known to cause blood clots, which can reduce blood flow to the penis and may account for some cases of erectile dysfunction. 

However, experts believe there are more factors at play that are resulting in erectile dysfunction during the lockdowns, such as stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, excess alcohol consumption, and smoking more than usual. All these are risk factors for erectile dysfunction. 

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Reviewed on 8/5/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference