Does Corona Virus Affect Male Fertility?

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male fertility

Social media and newspaper reports suggest that COVID-19 might harm male fertility or sexual potency. As a result, we have many new customers who decided to use our at-home sperm freezing and storage services because they are afraid that COVID-19 will adversely affect their fertility.

While there are still many unknowns regarding COVID-19, its causes and implications, we wanted to share our knowledge and insights collected thus far.  

COVID-19 effect on male fertility

It is a well-known conjecture that an infection or illness (such as the flu) can temporarily lower sperm count and increase the production of abnormal or mutations in sperm. As any other illness, Coronavirus may also lower sperm count. 

Specifically, according to experts, Coronavirus enters human cells and causes tissue damage by binding its spike protein to cell membrane protein angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which is also known as ACE2. Although ACE2 is known to be present in the lungs, it can potentially also be present in other organs, including organs in the male reproductive system.

In addition, some research carried out during and after the last SARS outbreak indicates a possible connection between SARS and damage to male fertility. As Coronavirus pandemic often compared to the SARS outbreak, some may suspect that a similar relation exists between COVID-19 and male fertility. 

The above was probably the reason medics from hospitals in China alerted that COVID-19 may affect the production of sperm and the formation of male sex hormones. These concerns were mainly presented through social media and news websites.

Were there any studies about Coronavirus affect on male fertility?

As Coronavirus has spread only recently and due to the various lockdowns, there are only a handful of scientific studies published regarding Coronavirus impact on male fertility.

One study compared the sex-related hormones between 81 reproductive-aged men with COVID-19 infection and 100 age-matched healthy men. The study found that men with COVID-19 seem to have changes in levels of some of their male sex hormones compared to healthy men.

Another study tested Chinese males diagnosed with COVID-19, to see whether the virus was detected in their seminal fluid. The study did not find an evidence of the existing of Coronavirus in seminal fluid.

It is important to note, that the studies were focused on male sex hormones and not on other important sperm quality factors, such as level of testosterone, sperm count, sperm motility, sperm volume and morphology.

Safety guidelines regarding fertility in COVID-19 times

The American Society for Reproduction Medicine (ASRM) provided guidelines to infertility patients in COVID-19 times. The guidelines are general and mainly recommends to not start new fertility treatments, including IUI and IVF cycles until ASRM providers further guidance. Urgent fertility preservation such as sperm freezing (cryopreservation), is still recommended by ASRM. It appears that currently there are no formal publications and guidelines that address male fertility concerns in COVID-19 times.  

Going forward

COVID-19 is new to the world, and it is still early to determine whether it affects male fertility of COVID-19 patients and the health of their offspring.

As the affects of COVID-19 on male fertility are still unknown, some people consider storing your sperm sample today, when it is healthy. Specifically, people with urgent fertility needs such as cancer patients, people going through treatments such MTF transition or HRT treatment, or vasectomies should not give up preserving fertility during these times.

Sppare.me offers you to preserve your male fertility from the comfort of your home. Instead of risking yourself with going to a local sperm bank, you can bank your sperm from the safety of home. 

To read more about how your lifestyle and health condition can impact your male fertility, click here.

 

 

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