Of the many lingering COVID-19 symptoms making headlines, there has been significant research suggesting a link between COVID-19 and Erectile Dysfunction (ED). In addition, news reports citing COVID’s effects on our cardiovascular system have given substantial evidence that this novel virus may, as a result, be one of the new causes of ED.
When COVID-19 affects the cardiovascular system, it causes inflammation in blood vessels and veins. This inflammation could upset blood flow to the penis resulting in difficulty getting and maintaining an erection.
In addition, COVID-19 has been linked to a disorder called Endothelial Dysfunction. In this disorder, blood vessels stay stiff instead of expanding and contracting to allow blood flow. It can limit how blood is carried throughout the body, including the tissue in the penis. If blood flow to the penis is affected, again, it can result in difficulty getting and maintaining erections.
We also know that anxiety and depression are both byproducts of this pandemic, which can be another cause of ED. COVID-19 can make us worry about health, our loved ones, and our financial futures. Anxiety is the adversary of sexuality. If we are affected by one or all of these worries, the prospect of getting and keeping an erection could very much be hindered.
Don’t forget that ED can be caused by a myriad of physical and mental health issues. For many individuals, their emotional and mental health stressors may manifest in how they express themselves sexually. When we are depressed, motivation, energy, and interests can all be influenced. Once again, if the pandemic weighs heavily on one’s mind to the point, one feels a loss of motivation and energy and or a loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, this can significantly impact sexual functioning.
It is essential if struggling with anxiety to engage in relaxation exercises. Learn the practice of deep breathing and incorporate it into a daily routine. Yoga is highly beneficial health-wise; it can also teach us remarkable relaxation techniques.
Download one of the many mindfulness apps on the market and practice guided meditation. Some of the most popular apps are:
If you find yourself experiencing erectile dysfunction, your first step should be to visit a qualified urologist specializing in sexual dysfunctions. It is imperative to rule out any medical cause of the ED before pursuing psychological treatment.
Steven Rego is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works with individuals and couples. Mr. Rego uses an eclectic mix of therapeutic modalities like EMDR and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help get at the root of psychological issues. Mr. Rego specializes in trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, sex therapy, and OCD. He also works extensively with couples.