Emmanuele A. Jannini, MD Full Professor of Endocrinology & Medical Sexology (ENDOSEX) Department of Systems Medicine

ED May Be Manifestation of Long COVID

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emmanuele A. Jannini, MD Full Professor of Endocrinology & Medical Sexology (ENDOSEX) Department of Systems Medicine

Dr. Jannini

Emmanuele A. Jannini, MD
Full Professor of Endocrinology & Medical Sexology (ENDOSEX)
Department of Systems Medicine
University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
Italian Academy for the Couple Health – President
Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine – Past President
European Academy of Andrology – Chairman of the Education Committee
UEMS Multidisciplinary Joint Committee of Sexual Medicine (MJCSM) – President


MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: COVID-19 has been (and, to some extent, still is) an unprecedented challenge for healthcare. A growing body of evidence suggests that endothelial dysfunction is common in COVID-19 and can potentially be one of the key determinants of its clinical phenotype.

For sexual medicine experts, endothelial dysfunction is also the key mechanism for the onset of erectile dysfunction. However, the infection by SARS-CoV-2 can also worsen erectile function by other pathways, such as testosterone decrease, reduced oxygen availability and, of course, psychological distress. These pathophysiological mechanisms were underinvestigated at the beginning of the pandemic, as management of severe forms of respiratory distress was a necessary priority, but sexual dysfunction can now be a potential reason for concern in COVID-19 long haulers. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: The clinical phenotype of COVID-19 can result in multi-organ damage, both in its acute and chronic forms; sexual dysfunctions, and erectile dysfunction in particular, are among the potential consequences of infection. As erectile function is a reliable biomarker of general and cardiovascular health, investigating these symptoms can potentially improve patients’ quality of life.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response:Additional clinical data in support of these pathophysiological mechanisms are needed. At present, only few studies have investigated the prevalence of these conditions among COVID-19 patients – including our study titled ““Mask up to keep it up”: Preliminary evidence of the association between erectile dysfunction and COVID-19” (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/andr.13003) which was published last year in Andrology. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: While the potential risk of developing erectile dysfunction following COVID-19 is a topic of interest, the association is bidirectional. Indeed, men who develop erectile dysfunction as a consequence of several health-risk behaviours (such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle, malnutrition) or as complications of other comorbidities (obesity, diabetes, hypertension) are also much more likely to to develop COVID-19, owing to the shared risk factors.



Sansone A, Mollaioli D, Ciocca G, et al. Addressing male sexual and reproductive health in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. J Endocrinol Invest. 2021;44(2):223-231. doi:10.1007/s40618-020-01350-1

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Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Marie Benz MD FAAD