Are we now more sexually active than we were before confinement by the Covid-19 threat, or are uncertainty and anxiety really taking its toll on sexual desire? There is no unanimous answer to this question, at least for the moment, because perhaps in a few months the consequences of confinement at the sexual level will be studied in detail. Meanwhile, each one can contribute their personal answer to this question. What is true is that, as has happened with other types of medical or psychological consultations, online questions about sexuality have increased exponentially, as Dr. Nicola Tartaglia, urologist, andrologist and sexual health expert assures.
Although experts do not tire of repeating that, in sexual matters, each person is unique, there are some common and frequent doubts that have also been expressed through virtual consultations during these difficult weeks of isolation or confinement. These have to do with the four thematic blocks that Dr. Tartaglia details in the form of questions.
1. Why am I now suffering from erectile dysfunction?
Why am I having episodes of erectile dysfunction just now that I have more time with my partner if I have also never had problems? It is the most common question. But the expert says that if you have never had erectile dysfunction, it is unlikely that in just a few weeks something physical could have happened to the genital tract. In fact, the organic causes of erectile dysfunction (hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking …) act over a long period of time and the presentation of the problem is usually slow and progressive, as he clarifies. That is why he believes that going from having a satisfactory sex life to not being able to maintain an erection, despite having the partner available “24 hours” is, according to Dr. Tartaglia, an emotional problem, especially in a period like we live. The uncertainty, fear and frustration caused by the tragic events related to the coronavirus increase the levels of adrenaline in the blood, which has a vasoconstrictor action, which restricts arterial and capillary dilation, affecting the erectile phenomenon.
Trying to play sports at home, listening to music, stop obsessing over the news (checking once a day is enough) and trying relaxation techniques can be helpful at this stage.
2. How can I improve fertility?
Some people have decided to take advantage of isolation or confinement to seek to be parents. Therefore, among the most common online consultations are questions about how to increase the chances of pregnancy. But before addressing this question, it is important to clarify that, according to Dr. Tartaglia, one in five men over 35 years of age has an alteration of the seminogram, a test of semen quality; and that, depending on whether the alteration is minor or major, medical treatment may be necessary or even having to go to an assisted fertilization center.
However, the expert clarifies that in the face of slight alterations in fertility parameters there are a number of habits that can improve semen quality and can increase the possibility of pregnancy. They are measures that improve the state of the sperm and help detoxify the bodily fluids in which they are generated and stored until ejaculation. Firstly, it is important to eliminate tobacco and alcohol, reduce sugars, reduce the intake of animal proteins (meat, fish, dairy products and eggs) to a maximum of twice a week and during this time promote a diet rich in raw vegetables that includes tomato (due to its high lycopene content) lettuce (due to folic acid) lentils and peas (selenium) pumpkin seeds (zinc), oranges and kiwis (vitamin C), virgin olive oil and nuts (vitamin E) . Some studies show, according to the expert, that there is a beneficial effect on semen quality for men who, for a limited period and controlled by a specialist, follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Finally, it is important to guarantee a minimum of 20 minutes of daily exercise. “Someone might object that this is all too much if we also add it to the stress that isolation already brings. But I answer him, what better moment of a world break for a personal reset? », He proposes.
3. How do we relate if one has tested positive for Covid-19?
Covid-19 disease is a highly contagious respiratory condition. Thus, Dr. Tartaglia explains that when a member of the couple is positive to the test or simply presents the symptoms of the disease (fever, cough or difficulty breathing are the main ones) the correct thing to do is avoid any contact with healthy people.
The level of the isolation measures will depend on the age and the possible pathologies that the healthy partner may have, because the disease begins to be really dangerous from the age of 60 or at any age if they suffer from it. other diseases, he explains. In cases where there is a risk of pneumonia, it is recommended that the infected person be confined most of the time during the day and that they sleep in another room. It is important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth without washing your hands with unwashed soap, and it is also essential to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. It is preferable that both the infected and the healthy person wear a mask, although in the case that only one unit is owned, it is better that the infected person wear it.
4. Will I lose interest in sex?
Can sexual withdrawal affect my sexual activity when quarantine is over? “Not at all,” says the expert, who explains that sexual abstinence is not a cause of atrophy of the erectile tissue of the penis as long as it is for a limited period. As he clarifies, various studies show that a difficulty in maintaining satisfactory erections begins to manifest itself from the year of abstinence. Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that abstinence is also understood as “absence of masturbation”. However, it is possible that after the quarantine period someone may experience one or more episodes of erectile dysfunction due to the state of inactivity and stress accumulated during these weeks.
In short, as Dr. Tartaglia clarifies, just as it will be difficult for us to resume other healthy and social habits, there can also be one of two “triggers”. .