Of the multitude of misconceptions and controversial issues concerning the adverse health outcome of COVID-19 vaccine(s) in menfolk, the fertility and reproductive health of men remain overemphasized. As such, at the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak across the globe, other more pressing issues precluded the early detection and procurement of the much-needed hard scientific evidence supporting the claims of the detrimental impact of COVID-19 vaccines on a person’s manhood. Much has been debated regarding the vaccine-related compromise of a man’s sexual potency (e.g. erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction), lowered sperm counts, and other reproductive and andrological parameters. Notwithstanding the manufacturers’ and global health agencies’ claims about the safety of these vaccines based on the comprehensive pre-launch evaluation of their efficacy and safety in diverse models including field clinical trials, one cannot deny that the overall timeline and magnitude of the development, pre-launch trials, and ‘established’ safety of COVID-19 vaccines was too short and too less for such conviction.
Given the multitude of adverse effects of COVID-19 infections over diverse aspects of Men’s health including their sexual prowess, activity, and fertility; it remains difficult to discern the sexual adverse effects (SAEs) caused by the COVID-19 infection versus the vaccine(s). The possibility of both being contributory is also worth exploring. In a nutshell, vaccination is not the root cause of any of these issues related to manhood. But the infection that arises with COVID-19 can be responsible for it. In this article, we shall take a peek into the research done, facts and scientific evidence, and the main causes for these issues which are being claimed by a large population of men.
Research-Based Scientific Evidence And Reveals
Study Published In Andrologia
Before going into the published current evidence on this subject, it is worth becoming knowledgeable about Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Internet users can sign up and carry out Human Intelligence Tasks (HIT) through this web portal, It is a crowdsourcing marketplace that renders outsourcing of processes and jobs by individuals and businesses to a distributed workforce capable of performing the tasks virtually. One can also make some cash out of activities on MTurk like conducting simple data validation and research to more subjective tasks like survey participation and content moderation. The chief benefits of this approach include optimizing efficiency, better flexibility and reduced cost and time investment.
The likelihood of ED after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine was evaluated in the current research. Employing the Mturk platform, a survey of mature men in the United States was conducted in a confidential way (https://www.mturk.com/). A 16-item checklist was given to included subjects, who identified as biological men and were at least 45 years old and did not have erectile dysfunction (ED) that had been medically diagnosed. The International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5), a multidimensional scale to assess ED, was used in the analysis. This research study christened "The COVID Erectile Function Survey''. and was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the University of Miami.
An observational examination of 138 mature men who satisfied the filtering requirements was carried out, with a response percentage of 81.8% overall out of which 121 men those surveyed, were vaccinated (one vaccine dosage was given to 18 men, two doses to 101 men, and three doses to 2 men), whereas 17 were not. Of the men who were vaccinated, the majority of them were double vaccinated and only 18 were there who had been vaccinated with only one dose. Out of the respondents, 67% were those who had suffered from COVID-19. Nearly 47 percent of individuals received the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, 38.3% received the vaccine from Moderna, and 14% received the COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen.
According to the averaged IIEF-5 results, it was discovered that there was no statistically significant difference in erectile functioning between survey participants who had received vaccinations and those who had not; the average IIEF-5 score for those who had received vaccinations was 20 and the average IIEF-5 score for those who had not, was 22. The results of the revised logistic regression study demonstrated that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine was not linked to an increased incidence of ED.
Participants who had received vaccinations vs. those who had not did not exhibit significant variations in erectile dysfunction. Despite reporting light ED, those who had received vaccinations did not statistically separate from those who had not.
The IIEF cannot appropriately evaluate men who use erection enhancements like drugs, injecting substances, or vacuum gadgets, hence this study has a few constraints. Additionally, to date, there haven't been any studies that used a standardized test to compare how ED developed between people who had the COVID-19 vaccine and others who didn't. Therefore, the findings of this research may have significant implications for patient-centered choice-making and nationwide vaccination initiatives.
Supporting Facts From Reuters
Although current online posts continue to revisit the widespread allegations of the adverse outcome of COVID-19 vaccines on men's fertility, many specialists have reported to Reuters that the theory that COVID-19 immunization affects infertility among men remains unfounded. (https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-sperm-vaccine-idUSL2N2N42EC)
Professor of reproductive medicine and director of the Complete Fertility clinic, in Southampton, UK, Dr. Ying Cheong said, "that she was totally not familiar with any of the research supporting the statement that COVID-19 vaccine is linked with erectile dysfunction and even if some people who are claiming that vaccination does impact on male fertility then that research or study has been done improperly in negligible sample size which is absurd". She also insisted that we must stop these bogus researchers from disseminating inaccurate data. (https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-fertility-idUSL1N2T01TQ)
Dr. Ramy Abou Ghayda, the chief medical officer, of a digital fertility clinic situated in the US, said, "At the moment, we have sufficient information and a respectable body of scientific research to rule out any potential adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccination on sperm characteristics. The sperm quantity, concentration, movement, and appearance of COVID-19-vaccinated individuals did not change adversely in any of the investigations that have been published to date in credible medical publications".
Conclusively, there is no damning evidence which supports that COVID-19 immunization has impacted manhood. The alleged adverse impact on men’s fertility after vaccines faces another contradiction; the attribution of the minor, temporary, and short-lasting imbalance in some functions related to fertility to COVID infection per se, rather than the vaccination.
The paucity of convincing evidence of a correlation between vaccines and ED has been reiterated by Dr. Chris Deibert, a senior urologist, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, US, who also suggested that the available weak evidence of association is also most likely the result of infection only.
Short-Term Impact Due To COVID
Although the coronavirus sickness and sexual desire are not directly related, the worldwide pandemic may have had an impact on us that has caused diminished sexual desire in both men and women. (https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-021-12390-4#:~:text=written%20in%20English.-,Conclusion,dimensions%20of%20every%20person's%20life).
According to certain urologists, a quantum of men have reported a negative impact on their penises following COVID-19 infection. According to a short study that was published in Health Library in May 2021, some individuals with ED who had suffered from COVID-19 infection revealed the presence of viral structural remnants in their penises corpus cavernosum. The residual virus fingerprints suggest that the infection might have impeded the blood supply to the penis. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36426580/#:~:text=Results%3A%20Electron%20microscopy%20and%20immunohistochemical,the%20severity%20of%20previous%20infection)
For the complications related to lost circumference or size of the penis, there are methods of treatment that require recovery, according to Dr. Charles Welliver, urologist at Albany Medical College. Welliver claims that while it was once believed that a small amount of erection dysfunction prescription could be helpful, apparatuses that stretch or suction the penis can aid in regaining lost circumference and size.
The belief that COVID-19 infection and/or vaccination impact erectile function and manhood remains at best conjectural. Although these SAEs might be temporary or persistent, specialists are unsure if these side effects can cause problems with conception. If you suspect you may have erectile dysfunction, particularly after a COVID-19 infection, consult your health professional, preferably a Men's Health Expert physician/surgeon rather than ignoring it. Such devout professional clinicians would thoroughly evaluate various issues concerned with the male reproductive system through detailed history-taking, physical examination, and possibly certain blood tests and cross-referrals to specialists like urologists. Only then can you hope that a possible underlying cause or trigger for your ED might be discovered, facilitating the development of an optimal treatment approach.
Article by: Ayush Maurya
Edited by: Puneet Kapani