A new study by Israeli scientists has discovered COVID-19 could damage sperm production, leading to male infertility
The research, which was published this week, revealed that the virus was discovered in the sperm of 13 per cent of men screened, but their sperm volume had decreased by 50 per cent after 30 days.
The report was compiled by Dr Dan Aderka, of the Sheba Medical Center, in Tel Aviv, who also said that sperm motility was affected.
Dr Aderka’s research has not yet been published, but he told The Jerusalem Post that the reason for the ACE2 receptors that were also found in the lungs, kidney, and heart.
Within the receptors are cells that support sperm maturation and the production of testosterone
He said: “As normal sperm takes 70 to 75 days to mature, it is possible that if we are doing sperm examination two and a half months after recovery, we may see even reduced fertility. It could be even more detrimental.”
He said it was unclear whether the effects of the virus on the sperm quality and quantity would have a permanent impact or be reversible.
Dr Aderka recommended doctors will need to examine patients six months and a year after recovery to see what damage has been done by the virus.
Doctors and professors across the globe have said sperm production has been known to temporarily reduce in some men when they get flu-like symptoms.
Professor Allan Pacey, an andrologist at the University of Sheffield and former chairman of the British Fertility Society, told the Daily Mail he would not be surprised if COVID-19 caused a temporary drop in sperm production.
He said: “People who get coronavirus are probably quite unwell, even influenza will cause a decline in sperm count temporarily.
“The question is whether it is permanent and whether it is recoverable.”
Professor Pacey cautioned against the findings in the Israeli research stating that most of the men who have died from the condition would be incredibly poorly, most probably older, which would naturally cause a drop in sperm production.
He said, “There is a bit of caution there because if you are in an Intensive Care Unit and you die you are obviously very sick, so we shouldn’t be surprised if there is a change in the testicles.”
Professor Pacey said he would be interested to read the paper Dr Aderka has produced as he said it is difficult to prove a virus is inside the semen.
He said: “We’ve done work on other viruses, for example, chlamydia, a bacteria that behaves like a virus, and it’s really difficult to prove if the virus is inside the sperm.”
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