Many people think that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, but in fact, the heart, esophagus, kidneys, liver, eyes, bladder, digestive system, and even the brain can be infected by COVID-19. Research shows that the impact of COVID-19 on male reproductive health cannot be ignored.
For COVID-19 to enter the body and start replicating, it must bind to a substance called the ACE2 receptor. The ACE2 receptor is a protein found on the surface of cells in the mouth, lungs, heart, and other body areas. In human tissue, male testes show high levels of the ACE2 receptor, leading researchers to worry that it could be a target for viral invasion and destruction.
According to current research, it is theoretically possible that infection with new coronary pneumonia may affect male fertility, but this is only a theoretical possibility. Whether COVID-19 infection will affect male fertility requires retrospective research in the future; that is, it is necessary to count those males infected with COVID-19 and observe their future fertility. If their fertility is indeed affected by the virus, then it is only certain that infection with COVID-19 will affect male fertility.
The current research is certain that COVID-19 can infect the cells related to the male testis, which lays a theoretical foundation for COVID-19 infection to affect male fertility.
COVID-19 not only damages the testicles but also causes a significant decrease in male reproductive capacity. COVID-19 likes to attack organs rich in ACE2 receptors. At the same time, spermatogonia, interstitial cells, and supporting cells are also enriched in ACE2 receptors, which are vulnerable to virus attack, and failing sperm formation, and the quality of sperm will also be significantly reduced. Even after recovery, COVID-19 can survive in these areas for a long time. And during the treatment, the drugs used may also affect the quality of sperm.
Although it has been detected that many cells in the testis express high levels of ACE2, there is no clear report that COVID-19 can cause testicular lesions in this outbreak. Since no real cases have been reported, there is no solid evidence to support that COVID-19 causes male fertility disorders.
COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets, and the respiratory tract is the first to bear the brunt, so it is also called COVID-19 pneumonia. Most of the main symptoms of infection with this virus are respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Although the ACE2 receptor is also highly expressed in the testis, it is still unknown whether the virus can reach the testis through blood circulation or other means.
There are no clear cases of COVID-19 infecting the testicles of humans, but this does not guarantee that infected people will not be affected. The most reliable way is to wait for the epidemic to pass and do a clinical investigation and study to determine whether COVID-19 can cause male reproductive dysfunction.
For those men who have been infected with COVID-19, there is no need to worry too much. After the epidemic, they can find time to go to the hospital for some male reproductive examinations, such as ultrasound of the scrotum, semen analysis, etc. There are still some cases of testicular pain after infection or apparent male reproductive inflammation. They should check in time, early detection, and early treatment to avoid serious consequences.
From the current point of view, COVID-19 infection can cause male reproductive dysfunction, which is only a theoretical possibility, so male compatriots do not need to be too nervous. Those who are not infected only need to do normal virus protection. After the epidemic, they should go to the hospital for some related tests and pay attention to their symptoms.