How Shockwave Therapy Can Help Men Experiencing COVID-19-Related ED

It’s estimated that men who contract the virus triple their risk of developing ED, according to new research.

Experts agree that erectile dysfunction (ED) could be a short or long-term complication of COVID-19. It’s estimated that men who contract the virus triple their risk of developing ED, according to new research. Between April and May of 2020, researchers collected the data from the Sex@COVID online survey to retrieve a sample of Italian male sexually active subjects with reported SARS-CoV-2 infection. The results indicated that of the 100 subjects included in the analysis (25 COVID positive, 75 COVID negative) the prevalence of ED, measured with the Sexual health Inventory for Men, was significantly higher in the COVID+ group (28% vs 9.33%; p = 0.027).

Physicians across the globe have said that the virus is known to cause inflammation in the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels through the body. Because the arteries supplying the genitals are small and narrow, the inflammation is likely to disrupt blood flow and impede a man’s sexual response. Urologist, Dr. Judson Brandeis explains how this damage occurs.

“Our immune system has never seen this virus before, so we don’t have antibodies that would make our immune response selective and targeted. As a result, our body responds with a massive, nonspecific, immune response that cause our white blood cells to furiously assault the virus, gobbling up particles and pouring out chemicals in a feverish attempt to eliminate it, causing massive collateral damage to our own body. Particularly the delicate microscopic cells that line our smallest blood vessels. That endothelium is especially vulnerable to this type of destruction,” shares Dr. Brandeis.

“In addition, this creates a risk to the protective lining of the endothelium called the glycocalyx, which shields the endothelial cells from damage and prevents blood clots from forming. The immune system vigorously attacks this protective coating, resulting in the loss of protection to the endothelial cell,” Brandeis continues.

Studies and clinical trials suggest that Shockwave Therapy, better known as GAINSWave® have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote vascularity by generating angiogenesis (revascularization) and improving endothelial function. Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (Li-ESWT) is a form of energy transfer that is of lower intensity (<0.2mJ/mm2) relative to traditional Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) used for the management of urinary stones. At this intensity and at appropriate dosing energy transfer is thought to induce beneficial effects in human tissues. The proposed therapeutic mechanisms of action for Li-ESWT include neovascularization, tissue regeneration, and reduction of inflammation. These effects are thought to be mediated by enhanced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Nitric Oxide supplements like AFFIRM are also promising, especially when combined with shockwave therapy.

Men can speak with certified physicians about COVID-19 related erectile dysfunction symptoms. For a list of experts in their communities, men can visit:

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