Painful sores are not the only unpleasant side effect of genital herpes. Researchers in Taiwan reveal that the sexually transmitted disease may also increase erectile dysfunction in infected men.
According to Renal & Urology News, scientists compared data on 1,700 men with herpes to 6,800 men without the STD. They found that during nearly four years of follow-up, men with genital herpes had a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction compared to those without it. In total, they found that being infected with the herpes simplex virus was independently associated with a nearly threefold increased risk of ED.
The study is believed to be the first to provide concrete evidence of a link between HSV and ED. According to Vsuisrr.org, many men with the STD have reported problems with ED. Experts often attribute the difficulties to low self-esteem, anxiety and worries about transmitting the disease to sexual partners. However, doctors state that using a condom and avoiding sexual contact when herpes blisters are present can reduce the risk of infecting another person. According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is possible to transmit the disease when sores are not visible as well.
Individuals who have herpes may be able to control their outbreaks with antiviral drugs. Additionally, those with ED can treat that health condition with drugs including Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.
The CDC reports that one in six individuals in America between the ages of 14 and 49 is believed to have genital herpes. While sores are the most common symptom of the virus, many who have it are asymptomatic or have symptoms that are mistaken for another condition.
Medical professionals can often diagnose HSV with a visual examination or with a blood test between outbreaks.