COVID-19 can cause male infertility by harming the testicular cells which produces sperms thereby making it difficult to make the female pregnant
Two researchers from Justus-Liebig University in Germany have investigated whether covid-19 can harm men’s fertility. 84 men with covid-19 were followed over 60 days and compared with a group of healthy men.
In the coronary patients, signs of inflammation and so-called oxidative stress were found in the sperm cells.
“These effects on sperm are linked to lower sperm quality and reduced fertility potential,” said researcher Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki in a statement.
The issue is all the more sensitive for COVID-19 as the SARS-CoV-2 virus can bind to sperm cells. Indeed, ACE2 receptors, used by SARS-CoV-2 to enter the cells, can be found on almost all testicular rat and human cells. Previous SARS coronavirus have been found to have a significant impact of on testes, so it is quite likely that SARS-CoV-2 affects testicular tissue, semen parameters and male fertility.
A classic example of virus‐induced infertility is seen in the mumps virus. Just under half of all males who get mumps-related orchitis notice some shrinkage of their testicles and an estimated 1 in 10 infected men experience a drop in their sperm count.
Several other experts believe it is uncertain how the results should be interpreted and that it is too early to say for sure about the connection between covid-19 and fertility.
“Men who have moderate or serious COVID-19 infections could find their fertility impaired for an unknown amount of time. Because mild cases don’t seem to affect fertility, I would advise men to wear facemasks. This way, even if they get sick, their immune systems will be dealing with a smaller viral load and consequently they’ll have a milder form of the disease and there has to be more studies to confirm how severe this problem is, once the patient recovers semen parameters may improve” said Dr. Anubha Singh, another city based Gynecologist and IVF Specialist from Shantah Fertility Centre.
Allan Pacey at the University of Sheffield says there may have been other factors that reduced sperm quality in coronary heart disease patients. One possible factor is that there were more overweight among the corona patients than in the control group.