July 23, 2024

COVID-19 may cause male infertility, new study shows

Sperm samples are monitored under a microscope at Birmingham Women’s Hospital fertility clinic on January 22, 2015 in Birmingham, England.

COVID-19 may have a new side effect as research suggests male infertility can result from a battle with the disease.

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According to news outlet KTSM, studies on COVID-19 and human sperm indicate there may be a link between male infertility and the illness. The research also speculates on the possibility of sexual transmission of the novel virus.

Published May 2020 in JAMA Network, the research analyzed semen from 38 COVID-19 patients and found the presence of the virus in 15 percent of the samples. The study also finds “no significant difference between negative and positive test results for patients by age, urogenital disease history, days since onset, days since hospitalization, or days since clinical recover.”

KTSM reports researcher Dr. John Aitken confirms the effect COVID-19 can have on reproductive organs. He finds active cases of coronavirus can
“dramatically reduce testosterone to luteinizing hormones. Reduction in testosterone has a significant impact on the body’s responsiveness to Leydig cells that stimulate the secretion of sex steroids.”

Dr. Aitken also claims the possible sexual transmission of COVID-19 can be compared to the similar sharing of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne, disease that can cause birth defects.

“It should be emphasized spermatozoa have a demonstrable capacity to carry viral infections from the male to the female reproductive tract,” Dr. Aitken says to KTSN. He continues, “As happens during the sexual transmission of Zika, for example.”

READ MORE: New data confirms Black and Latino communities hit hardest by coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19, first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019 remains mostly mysterious as scientists and researchers still work towards cure or vaccine. A CDC update provided July 15, 2020, indicates 3,416,428 total cases of the coronavirus and 135,991 deaths in the United States.

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