COVID-19 and ED: Is There a Link?

COVID-19 and ED: Is There a Link?

Guys, there’s another reason to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Contracting COVID-19 may increase your odds of experiencing ED (erectile dysfunction or impotence).


“We’re still learning about the long-term effects of this virus, including its potential repercussions on men’s sexual and reproductive health,” said John Ludlow, MD, a urologist who specializes in treating ED at Western Michigan Urological Associates. “Erectile function is a barometer of overall health status. So it’s especially important for men who suddenly develop ED after having COVID-19 to talk to their doctor.”


Researchers believe three things may trigger ED in COVID-19 survivors:


  • Heart troubles: While ED alone can be an early predictor of cardiovascular problems, COVID-19 can also affect heart health. The reason? The virus has significant inflammatory effects, which can impact the heart and blood vessels. Blood supply to the penis can also become narrowed or blocked due to a new or worsened vascular condition caused by the virus.


  • Mental health issues: Sexual health is tied to mental health. Stress, anxiety and depression stemming from the virus and the pandemic can be linked to sexual dysfunction and possibly ED.


  • Overall health problems: “ED is often a sign of an underlying health problem,” Dr. Ludlow said. “Men with poor health are at greater risk for ED and also for having severe symptoms from COVID-19.” Being older can also raise your risk for both ED and a more serious reaction to the virus.


Time and more research are still needed to understand the long-term complications of COVID-19, including blood clots, neurological issues, damage to the heart and lungs, and potentially ED. Survivors of COVID-19 can suffer for months (known as long haulers), despite having good health before contracting the virus. That’s why getting vaccinated is so important for you and those around you.


Compassionate Support Near You

Having erection trouble once in a while shouldn’t cause alarm; however, if ED is ongoing, it may lead to stress, relationship problems, and/or affect your self-confidence. If you’re concerned about your sexual health, it’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. ED is common, and the best thing you can do to move beyond it is visit your doctor or a urologist. Nearly all cases of erectile dysfunction can be successfully managed and treated.


Western Michigan Urological Associates is a premier urology practice offering compassionate patient care to men, women and children. For more information about ED or men’s urological health, visit

  • John Ludlow, MD

    John Ludlow

    John K. Ludlow, M.D. is a board-certified urologist with Western Michigan Urological Associates. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Southern California and completed his residency through Indiana University. Unique to only a few urology training programs in the country, Dr. Ludlow had the opportunity to develop skills under leading experts in prosthetic urology for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and incontinence. He continues to advance his knowledge and surgical skills with additional training in Urological Oncology and Reconstructive Urology.

Share this Post