Covid and erectile dysfunction: how has the pandemic impacted our erections?

Written with
Dr Matthew Chan

At the time of writing this post, we’re 2 years into the Covid pandemic.

Covid (also known as Coronavirus, Covid-19, or, for our more lighthearted pandemic pals, ‘the rona’) has infected almost 500 million of us so far. 

By now, we all know the most common symptoms of the virus. But some guys who have had Covid as well as erection troubles, have been left wondering: “Can Covid cause ED?” 

It can be hard to find solid answers about how Covid, erectile dysfunction (ED), and other sex issues are all linked – and that’s where Mojo comes in. To answer all your burning questions, we spoke with medical doctor Matthew Chan to clarify: 

Does Covid cause erectile dysfunction?

Some men (and a whole lot of news outlets) have been asking whether Covid causes erectile dysfunction.

Well, the answer is a little complicated.

There is some evidence to suggest that men with Covid are more likely to have ED. One study found that ED was 19% more common in men who had had Covid, compared to men who had never had the virus.

But, more studies need to be carried out before we can say whether ED is a direct result of Coronavirus. 

“A lot more research needs to be carried out (with many more people) before Covid-19 can be named as an official cause of ED. 

Right now, all we have is evidence based on the experiences of a relatively small group. While it’s important we don’t ignore these, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions either.” 

Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

However, the ongoing conversation around Covid and ED shows that it's a growing concern for lots of men – suggesting a link between the two.

Erectile dysfunction and Covid: what’s the link?

“Your erections don’t have an on/off button. They’re the result of a complex process that involves the brain, emotions, muscles, blood vessels, hormones, and nerves. 

A problem with any link in the chain can trigger erectile dysfunction. 

Looking at the many ways Long Covid can affect your general health leaves me with little doubt that ED could be a knock-on effect for lots of guys.”

Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

Whether you’re suffering from Long Covid, you’ve had 'the rona' and recovered, or you’re feeling the mental effects of lockdown – we’re diving into the possible ways Covid could impact your psychological state, your lifestyle, and your physical wellbeing – and how all this can take its toll on your boners. 

Psychological effects of Covid that could lead to ED

“Anxiety and uncertainty have been common symptoms for those suffering with long term Covid, and it’s only natural for these worries to creep into your sex life. 

But rather than focus more on sex, it can help to dial down your expectations until you’re feeling more like yourself. 

That doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely. But slow, sensual lovemaking might be better than anything too strenuous.”

Amanda Barge, Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist

Covid lifestyle factors of Covid that could lead to ED

Physical effects of Covid that could lead to ED

Can Covid vaccines cause erectile dysfunction?

So far, there’s not enough evidence to suggest that Covid vaccinations cause ED. Great news, right?

“We know that Covid-19 vaccines significantly reduce the risk of serious illness from the virus (needing to be hospitalized, for example), but also do reduce the risk of infection at all.

So, it makes sense that getting vaccinated could reduce the risk of getting Covid infection-related erection issues.”

Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

Join in the conversation about ED & vaccines here.

Erectile dysfunction, Covid & Viagra

There have been rumors flying around about ED pills like Viagra being used as a cure for Covid, but you should know – Viagra doesn’t actually cure the virus.

However, when it comes to whether or not Viagra is safe to use when you’ve got Covid, things are a little more complicated, so we got Dr Matt to break it down:

“If you're severely unwell with Covid, it would be preferable to avoid Viagra, as some of the serious side effects of Viagra are blood pressure and heart-related, and Covid can affect both of these things.

However, having mild or Long Covid and using Viagra shouldn't be a physical issue, except fatigue and it maybe not having full effect.”

Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

Although erection medications can be great for a one-off boner, if your ED is a psychological response to Covid or the pandemic, we recommend treating the psychological root causes of ED, for stronger erections and better sex in the long run.

How to treat erectile dysfunction after Covid 

Dealing with Covid symptoms can be difficult, especially when you don’t know how or when things will get better. 

If one of them is ED, it’s also natural to worry about the impact it might have on your sex life, your relationship, or your self-worth. But don’t worry too much – we’ve got plenty of advice on how to feel better and get your erections back on track.

Psychological treatment for ED after Covid

  • Watch or listen to Mojo’s real sex therapy sessions and podcasts: These expert sessions can help you sort out any sexual performance anxiety, problematic porn or masturbation habits, and relationship issues that might have popped up during the pandemic.  
  • Open up (anonymously): You can hear first-hand, real advice from guys in our online community who have also dealt with ED during or due to the pandemic. Sharing your struggles here is a stress-free way to open up to guys who get it. 
  • Mojo Connect: Our live video calls offer an opportunity to hear from other men who have been where you are now. They’ll share their best advice for dealing with erection issues. Plus, after two years of not meeting new people, doing these calls online can be a great way to ease yourself into having meaningful conversations with new people – this is a mood-booster in itself. And you can keep your webcam off throughout, don’t worry. 

Lifestyle choices that could help with ED after Covid

  • Self-care: taking care of yourself will boost your self-esteem and help reduce pesky, critical thoughts about yourself. This could mean taking time to hit the gym or cook for yourself. Even Googling how to strengthen your erections again shows that you care for yourself – so, go you, you’re already nailing it. Working on your sexual wellbeing with our meditations and therapeutic modules would be a good next step. 

Physical treatment for ED after Covid

If Covid or Long Covid have had a physical impact on your erections, your doctor will tell you exactly how to handle it, so we’ll leave that in their capable hands. But if you’re nervous about talking to a doctor about your erections, we’ve got a sneak peek into how the appointment might play out. 

Before you go

Remember, ED can be caused by a huge range of psychological, physical, and lifestyle-based factors. So, your problems might have nothing to do with Covid. 

If you’d like to strengthen your erections and overall physical and mental health, try Mojo’s trial today.

Mojo aims to provide useful wellbeing resources to its users; however, you should not solely rely on opinions or advice available on the Website or given by the Community. Always seek advice from a qualified medical doctor or other healthcare professional before acting.

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