CORONAVIRUS survivors are reporting a “rancid” side effect which is putting them off having sex.
The condition, known as paranosmia has been reported by a number of people who contracted Covid-19.
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People who have survived Covid-19 are experiencing conditions that put them off having sexCredit: Getty – Contributor
Paranosmia is a condition that causes a distortion of previously enjoyable smells.
A loss of taste and smell, known as anosmia is one of the key symptoms to look out for when it comes to Covid-19 and in May last year the NHS added it to its official list of symptoms after patients with the virus said they had experienced the condition.
A high temperature and a new persistent cough are also key signs and if you have any of these symptoms then you need to get a test and isolate in order to prevent the virus spreading.
Now patients who have overcome the virus are complaining that while they can smell things – they aren’t as appealing as they used to be.
One woman said her paranosmia has become so bad that she no longer wants to have sex with her partner.
Samantha LaLiberte contracted Covid-19 in November and has been married to her husband for eight years.
What is paranosmia?
Paranosia is an odour distortion.
People who have the condition can detect certain odurs but it’s likely they will experience the smell of things differently to others.
For example – a person with this condition could have a cup of coffee that instead smells like burnt toast.
The smells people experience can often be similar to burning, chemicals, faeces or mould.
The 35-year-old from Nashville US, said that she had recently noticed a “terrible odur”.
Speaking to The New York Times she said: “There is not a whole lot of intimacy right now and it’s not because we don’t want to.”
She added that the condition has “put a strain” on her relationships.
Samantha explained that she has stopped going to her mother’s house as some of the smells are “intolerable”.
It is not yet clear the amount of people who are suffering from the condition due to Covid-19 but a recent study found that around 47 per cent of people who contracted Covid-19 had an altered sense of taste or smell.
In a study published in BDJ in Practice, experts stated that 50 per cent of those surveyed had reported symptoms of paranosmia.
Another woman explained how she has a “rancid” taste in her mouth all of the time.
Jessica Emmett said she can’t shake the feeling that she stinks.
The 36-year-old added that she feels as though she can smell herself all the time, and as a result she is struggling with intimacy.
She added: “There is no really passionate, spontaneous kissing.”
Jessica has been with her husband for 20 years but says this condition could be difficult for people who are single and are trying to date or find a new partner.
The paranosmia movement is gaining traction across the world and one Facebook group, started by a NHS nurse, now has over 16,000 members after it started in January.
One expert said that it’s a “bigger issue than people give it credit for”.
Dr. Duika Burges Watson, who leads the Altered Eating Research Network at Newcastle University said that the condition is something that can affect your relationship with others as well as the way you view yourself.
Dr Burges previously penned a research paper discussing how those with long Covid had been impacted by conditions such as paranosmia.
The experts found that around 10 per cent of people who recovered from Covid-19 went on to experience persistent issues with their sense of taste and smell.
The paper concludes: “Our findings suggest altered taste and smell with Covid-19 lead to a severe disruption to daily living that impacts on psychological well-being and health.
“Moreover, this impact is broad, spanning flavour perception; desire and ability to eat and prepare food; weight gain, loss and nutritional sufficiency; emotional wellbeing; professional practice; intimacy; social bonding and erosion of people’s very sense of reality.
“Our findings should inform the training, assessment and treatment practices of health care professionals working with long Covid.”