Women with “Long COVID” have higher risks of experiencing sexual dysfunction

Patients infected with SARS-COV-2 with persistent symptoms and after four weeks of illness suffer from what specialists call “long-lasting” COVID or “Long Covid”. The syndrome comes with a series of symptoms and increases the risk of sexual dysfunction in women.

Women with “Long COVID” are at risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction. PHOTO Shutterstock

“Long-lasting” COVID can cause symptoms ranging from intense fatigue to a persistent cough, but a new study has found that the syndrome is also linked to sexual dysfunction in women, according to Yahoo Life.

An estimated 8.5% of women have had Long COVID, making this a potentially huge problem for many of them (Covid and Long COVID also affect sexual function in men, including erectile dysfunction) .

“How often have you felt sexual desire?”

In conducting the study, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers analyzed the data of 2,000 women, including those who had previously had COVID-19. Participants were given the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), a tool that measures things like arousal and satisfaction with questions like: “In the last four weeks, how often have you felt sexual desire?”.

Only women who had sex in the last month were included in the study.

What the authors of the study discovered

The conclusion was that people who had a previous diagnosis of COVID-19 had lower levels of desire, arousal, lubrication and satisfaction than those who said they had never had the virus.

Regarding the scores for orgasm and pain, no significant differences were found between the two groups.

However, while women with a previous diagnosis of COVID-19 fell within the functional range of female sexual function, those with long-standing COVID were more likely to have a dysfunctional score.

In other words, women with Long COVID scored worse on arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and pain than all others.

“I hope this data will encourage conversations between providers and patients about sexual challenges and overall sexual well-being so that providers can provide appropriate recommendations and point to evidence-based recommendations that help“, study co-author Amelia Stanton, an assistant professor of brain sciences at Boston University, told Yahoo Life.

What the experts think

However, the conclusions of this study do not surprise the specialists. Dr. Lauren Streicher, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, explained to Yahoo Life that patients with prolonged COVID can have a lot of different symptoms, but generally “they just don't feel their best. When you're not feeling well, sex won't be at the top of your to-do listi”,

Research has also found that COVID-19 can change brain function, and Dr. Lauren Streicher says this may play a role in sexual dysfunction

Dr. Thomas Russo, a professor and infectious disease expert at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, encourages seeing a doctor in such cases, but points out to Yahoo Life. , that Long COVID symptoms tend to improve over time (research has shown that, in most cases, they usually improve within a year).