The effect of COVID-19 epidemic on the sexual function of healthcare professionals

Andrologia. 2021 Apr;53(3):e13971. doi: 10.1111/and.13971. Epub 2021 Jan 13.


Studies have shown that healthcare professionals struggling with epidemics develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The aim of this study is to show how often and severely erectile dysfunction, one of the components of post-traumatic stress disorder, is seen among healthcare professionals during COVID-19 outbreak. The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and the Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) were applied to 159 male healthcare professionals working in COVID-19 units and a control group of 200 people. Healthcare professional group was divided into subgroups according to occupation (physician, nurse), age-group (18-25, 26-30, >30), marital status and unit of work (Suspected Patient Area, Diagnosed Patient Area). Both stress disorder and erectile dysfunction were seen at higher rates in healthcare professionals group (p < .001). The median IIEF-5 scores of nurses, married subjects and those working in the Diagnosed Patient Area, were found to be higher (p < .001, p = .014, p = .011 respectively). During the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare professionals are exposed to psychological trauma and their sexual function may be negatively affected. The measures to be taken are important to estimate which groups are more affected.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; erectile dysfunction; healthcare professional; post-traumatic stress.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / psychology
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • Erectile Dysfunction / diagnosis
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / psychology
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional
  • Male
  • Occupational Stress / complications*
  • Occupational Stress / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Workload / psychology
  • Young Adult