The 9 embarrassing side effects of Covid – that could last for months

COVID usually causes the same set of symptoms – a cough, runny nose or headache are just some of those you’ll be familiar with.In a small number of..

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COVID usually causes the same set of symptoms – a cough, runny nose or headache are just some of those you’ll be familiar with.

In a small number of people, more bizarre symptoms may emerge, such as burping or pink eye.



Covid may leave you with bladder control issues

Usually symptoms clear up on their own as the body fights infection.

But as we know, the virus has left millions with “long Covid”, causing a huge array of side effects that won’t budge.

Some of these may knock a person’s confidence, such as a change in their penis size or bladder control issues. 

It’s important to see a doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms.

They may discover that Covid isn’t the cause, and give you treatment for an underlying issue. 

Here, we take a look at some of the more embarrassing problems that Covid may cause: 

Burping

Burping “normally happens up to 30 times a day”, both audibly and silently, according to experts.

Burping tens to happens after eating, particularly foods like broccoli, apples, pears and break, or drinking something fizzy.

Some people may experience more burping while sick with Covid.

Model Olivia Molly Rogers, former Miss Universe contestant from Australia, said she “couldn’t stop burping” while infected in January.

In some people it can last for several weeks as part of long Covid, research has shown.

A study highlighted by researchers in the Lancet medical journal found 44 per cent of hospital patients from China had stomach-related problems three months after their discharge. 

Of the 117 patients studied, one in ten had more burping than before.

Diarrhoea 

Covid may make toilet trips more frequent, as research has shown diarrhoea can be a symptom of the disease.

The ZOE Covid Symptom study revealed that the likelihood of getting diarrhoea with Covid increases with age.

It affects 10 per cent of kids but 30 per cent of adults over 35 years old, data from millions of app users has shown.

The research team say diarrhoea is an early sign of Covid, starting on the first day of infection and building in intensity during the first week. 

The study of ongoing symptoms in China, mentioned above, found that 15 per cent of hospital patients suffered diarrhoea during recovery.

Sex problems

Problems in the bedroom have been reported by people months after they had the virus.

A study by King’s College University, of 3,400 people who had previously had confirmed or suspected Covid, shone a light on the severity of the issue.

It found that 14.6 per cent of men and eight per cent of women had some “sexual dysfunction” as part of long Covid, which may have been a problem for months on end.

Research has suggested that Covid disease could cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

Urologists in Miami found particles of the coronavirus in the penises of two men who had ED following Covid.

When the virus enters the endothelial cells of the blood vessels found in the penis, it can prevent proper blood flow.

Smaller penis

Experts have said a shrinking penis is likely a result of erectile dysfunction that occurs due to virus infection.

A smaller penis was reported by 3.2 per cent of men in the King’s College study.

One anonymous man who has experienced erectile dysfunction and a reduced penis-size as a result of Covid called into the “How to Do It” podcast and said it had destroyed his self confidence. 

Ashley Winter MD, a urologist in Portland, US, and associated with Kaiser Permanente, reassured men there are treatments that could help.

Sweating

Night sweats have been reported by some experts as a common feature of the Omicron variant during infection.

Speaking to ITV’s Lorraine, Dr Amir Khan said patients were experiencing “those kind of drenching night sweats where you might have to get up and change your clothes”.

It can leave your bed sheets and nightwear damp, or even soaking wet, even if the room you are sleeping in is cool.

This may be a cause of an embarrassment for those sharing a bed with a partner – although it’s likely only you will be aware of it.

Mood swings 

If you’ve previously had Covid and have been feeling a bit “off”, you might be able to blame the virus.

The King’s College study found a number of symptoms flagged by long Covid sufferers that related to a change in mood.

A quarter of people said they had more anger since their infection, while 7.4 per cent reported aggression.

More than half of respondents said they had more irritability.

It’s difficult for researchers to differentiate whether these symptoms were a direct result of the virus, or general emotion towards the pandemic and the stress it has caused.

Snoring

Your partner won’t thank you for this one – snoring may have worsened since you got over your Covid illness.

The King’s College study listed sleep apnoea as affecting 7.1 per cent of long Covid sufferers.

The condition’s main symptom is snoring, which is a result of the airways restricting throughout the night.

Sleep apnoea can in fact be quite a serious condition because it can make a person feel tired during the day. It has been linked with a host of diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

Red or pink eyes

Irritated eyes can occur in some people with Covid infection.

The World Health Organization lists it as a less common symptom of the virus.

An early study, published in the BMJ Open Ophthalmology, found that of 83 Covid patients, 17 per cent had itchy eyes while 16 per cent had sore eyes.

It should clear up as you recover.

However, according to the King’s College study of long Covid, around 15 per cent of people reported “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), while the same figure had bloodshot eyes.

Incontinence

The last thing you want following Covid infection is incontinence, which is when you find it harder to hold your bladder or bowels.

Scientists at the University Beaumont School of Medicine, Michigan, theorised that inflammation caused by Covid may put more pressure on the bladder.

They found that 46 of 65 discharged hospital patients – who were mostly in their 60s – had new or worsened symptoms related to their bladder, including needing to go more in the night. 

Meanwhile, the King’s College study found that 14.1 per cent of people had “bladder control issues” as a symptom of long Covid.

However, urinary incontinence and similar issues are very common and sometimes are the result of stress, obesity, or older age.

These could all be the true reasons some people have developed it since the pandemic, as opposed to the virus itself.