Covid-19; Another Risk for Male Infertility

Studies recommend caution to couples planning natural pregnancy or assisted reproduction. Because evidence is accumulating that male gonads may be damaged from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In some small autopsy studies, suggesting that the new coronavirus could have an impact on male fertility.

The data is limited at the moment, however, viral mRNA has been identified in semen of infected men along with the evidence of altered seminal parameters. Some hormonal parameters such as low testosterone and dihydrotestosterone with raised luteinizing hormone has also been reported.

A Chinese research team made some observations earlier this year and also found that some COVID-19 patients had autoimmune orchitis. A separate Chinese team found “significant damage” to the basic cellular tissue of the testicles in 12 men who died of COVID-19.

Precise details how Covid 19 effects the male reproductive system is still unclear, but it is probable that high temperature resulting from persistent fever and creating a secondary autoimmune orchitis are the most likely involved mechanisms. Also, angiotensin conversion enzyme 2 (ACE2) plays a highly important role in cellular entry for SARS-CoV-2 virus. Male genital system presents high ACE2 expression. All these preliminary findings suggest that COVID-19 could impact men’s reproductive potential.

Source:

Male genital damage in COVID-19 patients: Are available data relevant? Asian Journal of Urology.
Histopathology and Ultrastructural Findings of Fatal COVID-19 Infections on Testis. World Journal of Men’s Health.
Impaired spermatogenesis in COVID-19 patients. Eclinical Medicine
Pathological Findings in the Testes of COVID-19 Patients: Clinical Implications. European Urology Focus

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