Journal of Men’s Health (JOMH) is published by IMR Press from Volume 17 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Dougmar Publishing Group.
UNCERTAINTY BASED ON VIRUS REPORTS: WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF SARS-COV-2 ON MALE REPRODUCTION? (COVID-19 AND MALE REPRODUCTION)
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Background and objectives
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a pandemic. Preliminary data reported that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might not be found in the semen of patients in the early stages of COVID-19; however, the virus may be seen in the semen in the late, severe stages. To determine the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the male reproductive system.
Materials and methods
We reviewed the relationship between previously reported infections with mumps virus (MuV), HIV, Zika virus, hepatitis virus B, hepatitis virus C, SARS-CoV, and influenza viruses that could possibly damage the male reproductive system, and then investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 infection could cause any damage to the male reproductive system.
There were various reports that viruses could impair male reproduction by entering into the testicular cells, inducing inflammation, or both. Regarding SARS-CoV-2, five recent independent studies showed no evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 could be found in the semen and testicular tissues, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 would not directly damage the blood–testis barrier (BTB) in the early stages of COVID-19 infection. However, a study found that viral RNA was found in 6 out of 38 patients. Three studies found that there were some changes in the sexual hormone levels.
Discussion and conclusion
There is a lack of substantial evidence to determine how SARS-CoV-2 affects male reproduction at this moment. Understanding of the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and male infertility requires further research.