COVID-19 can cause male infertility by harming the testicular cells which produce sperms thereby making it difficult to make the female pregnant, says a new study done by the scientists of Israel.
The study, published in the journal of Fertility and Sterility, claims that the studied men had a reduction of around 50 percent on average of the number of sperm per milliliter, the total volume of ejaculate, and motility of sperm.
Nobody knows yet how severe this problem is and these effects are reversible or not. Infection is accepted as a possible underlying cause of male infertility. For example, mumps may have a long-term effect on the fertility of male patients and can cause azoospermia, so we know viruses can have such an impact.
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Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF Specialist from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre says: “I wouldn’t be surprised if this virus causes a temporary down in sperm production. People who get coronavirus are probably quite unwell, they are having low immunity even influenza will cause a decline in sperm count temporarily. The question is how long it will last and whether it is recoverable.”
“Every time there is a new thing coming up with this virus, we are still learning and if the person has low immunity and is prone to catch the infection in any way the sperm count is affected and can cause male infertility” she added.
Dr. Shweta Goswami, Sr. Consultant IVF from Jaypee Hospital Noida and IVF Consultant from Zeeva Clinic explains: “Any viral infection but just Covid-19 can lead to high-grade fever and decrease in sperm count and motility at least temporarily. It’s too early to suggest anything for Covid-19 as semen changes can take up to 3-4 months post-infection and numbers are too low at present but it could potentially cause harm and any sort of illness fever can reduce sperm count and motility and this may hold for coronavirus as well.”
Mask-wearing can help to protect their fertility during the pandemic, even if one ultimately becomes infected.
“Men who have moderate or serious COVID-19 infections could find their fertility impaired for an unknown amount of time. Because mild cases don’t seem to affect fertility, I would advise men to wear facemasks. This way, even if they get sick, their immune systems will be dealing with a smaller viral load and consequently, they’ll have a milder form of the disease and there have to be more studies to confirm how severe this problem is, once the patient recovers semen parameters may improve” said Dr. Anubha Singh, another city-based Gynecologist, and IVF Specialist from Shantah Fertility Centre.
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“If people are protected by a mask, and the smaller a load of catching the infection, the better the immune system’s chances of beating the virus while still in the mild stage and having minimal impact on sperm” added Dr. Anubha Singh.
Choose a healthy life and take precautions, as this virus is very new and nobody knows how to recover from it or how not to catch the infection. So we have to be our on guard till the vaccine comes. Follow these advises as precautions to protect fertility:
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- Wear Masks and do proper sanitizing
- Avoid being overweight
- Do not smoke and refrain yourself as much as you can from consuming alcohol
- Do not wear tight underwear as it can affect the circulation of blood in the genital region and raise the temperature of the testicles which further decreases the sperm count
- Avoid keeping mobile phones near the genital area as it causes radiation also do not place laptops on your lap as it can raise the scrotum temperature
- Eat nutritious food and exercise regularly to maintain healthy immunity (IANS)