According to a new study published in Reproduction magazine, researchers have evidence that men affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus could suffer from reduced fertility from damaged sperm.
Covid can reduce men's ability to reproduce: it can kill sperm and inflame the testicles, damage the sperm production process, and reduce the ability of males to conceive babies.
"These effects on sperm are associated with lower sperm quality and reduced male fertility potential," he says. Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki (doctoral student of the University of Leipzig, Germany).
Although these effects tended to improve over time, they remained significantly and abnormally higher in patients with the coronavirus. The extent of these changes correlated with the severity of the disease.
Covid and reduced male fertility
According to the study, the virus alters the reproductive processes necessary to maintain sexual characteristics. When this occurs, “a secondary viral infection-induced inflammatory response” can occur in the testes, and the nominal response of fever to infection interferes with reproductive physiology and male fertility.
The male reproductive system should be considered a "high risk" organ
These recent findings contribute to the ongoing study on the effects of Covid-19, and say men recovering from the disease may have difficulty conceiving children, due to abnormally low sperm quality.
In summary, after a coronavirus infection, healthcare professionals should monitor and analyze patients' reproductive functions, so as to avoid reproductive and male fertility problems in the future.
“The results of this study also suggest that the male reproductive system should be considered a vulnerable route of Covid infection. WHO should declare it a high-risk organ, ”added Maleki.
Covid and male fertility: further information is needed
Larger studies are needed to validate the findings of this study and specify exactly how Covid-19 affects male fertility. And this is in addition to a long series of pandemic studies. All suggest a real danger to men's reproductive abilities after recovery from the virus.
Since last April, companies that send out seed collection and storage kits have increased their turnover.
While we don't know when we will have more concrete answers, there is a way around reduced male fertility, and apparently it is already being used.
“All over the world, on every continent, we observe that men are much more likely to be hospitalized with severe forms of Covid-19. And also significantly more likely to die, ”says the Johns Hopkins biologist Sabra Klein on the University blog.
Waiting for remedies
The future may look bleak for males. They are more likely than females to be hospitalized, die and become infertile after a Covid infection.
These male fertility studies help scientists understand how the virus affects the male reproductive systems.