We are currently facing the third wave of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, and yet we do not know much about its long-term effects. This is because there is no extensive knowledge to trace possible pathologies generated by the infection.
However, this knowledge is gradually emerging and thanks to studies that are being done. For example, a very recent one reveals that COVID-19 can substantially reduce the ability of men to have children.
Male fertility called into question by COVID-19
Despite the little that is known about the long-term effects of COVID-19, the truth is that more and more is being learned. Although it is a very recent infection, the studies are done globally and will reveal some important things.
Then, a new study, published in the journal Reproduction, reveals that COVID-19 may reduce the ability of formerly infected men to have children.
According to the team of researchers, the evidence suggests that the infection can kill sperm and inflame the testicles. That is, it may interfere with the sperm production process, impairing male fertility.
These effects on sperm cells are associated with poor sperm quality and reduced fertility potential. Although these effects tended to improve over time, they remained significantly and abnormally high in COVID-19 patients.
Said Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki, a PhD student at Justice Leipzig-University, Germany.
In addition, the student added that the extent of the changes depended, of course, on the severity of the infection.
Male reproductive system as a “vulnerable route of infection”
As the study says, men can contract the virus directly during sexual intercourse. Therefore, the virus immediately begins to alter the reproductive processes necessary to maintain sexual characteristics. If this happens, a "secondary inflammation response induced by viral infection" may follow.
Subsequently, the fever associated with the infection also interferes with reproductive physiology.
Taking into account the possible consequences of COVID-19 on male fertility, the study stresses the importance of health professionals. In fact, the researchers believe that patients should be monitored and their reproductive functions should be continuously analyzed. In this way, reproduction problems can be avoided in the future.
The results of this study also suggest that the male reproductive system should be considered a vulnerable route of COVID-19 infection and should be declared a high-risk organ by WHO.
Referiu Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki.
Biologically, men are more likely to be hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infection. In addition, according to biologist at Johns Hopkins, Sabra Klein, globally, are also more likely to die from the infection.
Regarding the reduction of fertility, there is still much to be explored. However, in April of last year, businesses emerged that guarantee that men can conserve sperm in order to use it later.