The consequences of the COVID-19 infection now go beyond the respiratory system.

A new study has found that the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, could also increase the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

The study was published in July in the Journal of Endocrinology Research.

Researchers looked at a literature search on the potential mechanisms that involved in the development of ED in patients who survived COVID-19.

“Erectile dysfunction is a probable consequence of COVID-19 for survivors,” the researchers wrote, “and considering the high transmissibility of the infection and the higher rates of contagion among older men, a worrying phenomenon for many of the affected patients.”

ED is a male sexual condition characterized by the inability to attain or sustain an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse.

Although incurable, ED is treatable with oral medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), avanafil (Stendra), among others.

These drugs belong to the class of drugs called PDE5 (phosphodiesterase) inhibitors. They work by boosting blood flow to the penile organ so men can achieve a stronger and durable erection during sexual activity.

The study researchers found that cardiovascular, respiratory, and even psychological distress contribute to the development of ED.

“COVID-19 could aggravate cardiovascular conditions, thus further increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction,” the author noted.

“Testicular function in patients with COVID-19 requires careful investigation into the unclear association with testosterone deficiency and the potential consequences for reproductive health,” they added.

Another recent study has found that COVID-19 could reduce male fertility. The article originally appeared on Explica.