“When I got out of the hospital, I had some erectile dysfunction issues. Those gradually got better with some medical attention, but I seem to be left with a lasting problem. My penis has shrunk,” the man wrote in a letter to Slate’s “How To Do It” podcast.
“Before I got sick, I was above average, not huge, but definitely bigger than normal. Now I’ve lost about an inch and a half and become decidedly less than average.”
Dr. Ashley Winter, a urologist in Oregon, confirmed to the podcast hosts that “COVID d— is like a real thing.”
Multiple studies have linked COVID-19 to erectile dysfunction and other reproductive health issues.
An Italian study last year found that 28% of men who contracted COVID-19 experienced issues with erectile dysfunction, while only 9.33% of men who hadn’t contracted COVID-19 experienced the same issue.
Researchers at the University of Miami found that the “widespread blood vessel dysfunction, or endothelial dysfunction, that results from the COVID-19 infection could then contribute to erectile dysfunction.”
“In our pilot study, we found that men who previously did not complain of erectile dysfunction developed pretty severe erectile dysfunction after the onset of COVID-19 infection,” Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, associate professor and director of the University of Miami’s Reproductive Urology Program, said about the results.
A group of doctors, the Urologists United for Vaccination Education, put out a PSA in October encouraging men to get vaccinated, saying that men who have had COVID-19 are six times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
“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, and leading to permanent impotence,” the group writes.
For men who have already had COVID-19 and are experiencing erectile dysfunction, Dr. Winter suggested using medicine like Cialis or Viagra, or even using extension devices that can add back length.
“These are easy things you can do at home, to either prevent shortening or actually get back length that you’ve lost,” she told the podcast hosts.