In a series of bad news related to the continued spread of COVID-19, reports about the impact of the coronavirus on men’s health, in particular on fertility, deserve special attention. The reason for concern was the publication of Chinese authors.
The lack of information about the properties of the new virus naturally causes stress in people who want to give birth to a child now or in the future. So, according to some reports, over the past month, the number of men who applied for cryopreservation of their sperm in an attempt to avoid risk has increased significantly. What is currently known about the impact of viruses on male fertility?
The fact that viruses can damage testicular tissue has long been known. They are able to penetrate the cells of the spermatogenic epithelium. Researchers call this property the tropicity of the virus. For example, the mumps virus (mumps), if it affects the male body after puberty, often causes severe inflammation of the testicle – viral orchitis. Since the introduction of the vaccine against the virus, its frequency has decreased dramatically, but cases of the disease have recently been reported in vaccinated patients.
For the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) , the property of causing chronic orchitis is described. In a man infected with HIV, sperm can carry the virus on its surface. Interestingly, the testicle, due to the presence of the so-called hematotexticular barrier, is relatively “fenced off” from other tissues. It may not allow antiviral drugs to enter and may be a hotbed of infection.
Hepatitis B and C viruses primarily affect the liver, but both are found in the ejaculate and can be transmitted sexually. Herpes simplex virus and human papillomavirus (HPV) are probably the most common sexually transmitted viruses that affect humans. Infected patients have been shown to have a relatively higher risk of male infertility, but the body also has immune protection against these viruses.
Among the new and poorly understood threats is the zika virus (named after the area in Africa where it was first detected). The virus is detected in the semen of infected men and can be transmitted sexually. In experimental animals, males infected with the virus, infertility occurs.
Viruses and the reproductive system
Thus, viruses can have a damaging effect on the male reproductive system. However, for some of the viruses described above, there are vaccines, while for others it is possible to control the transmission pathways. As for the virus that causes CAVID-19, it is by definition new and naturally raises many questions, including the impact on male reproductive function. Experts in the field of fertility analyze newly received and often contradictory information and Express their opinions.
First of all, it should be said that diseases like flu that occur with a high temperature can reversibly reduce male fertility. The effect of fever on sperm production usually lasts about three months. And Co id-19 is no exception. A report by Chinese authors about testicular damage in men who have had coronavirus was soon deleted as not having an evidence base. This was only an assumption based on the similarity of the new virus to the SARS virus. For the latter, cases of orchitis in men after the epidemic in 2002 are really described. Thus, to date, there is no evidence that the new virus can cause persistent male fertility disorders. And, according to Allan Pacey, Professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield (England), “…it is currently somewhat premature to conclude that COVID-19 definitely disrupts male fertility.”
However, in April of this year, the results of a study of the sperm of 34 men who had Covid-19 became known: none of them had the virus detected. To date, there is little data on the effect of the disease on the course of pregnancy. A study of nine pregnant women and their nine healthy babies born showed that the disease was no more severe than in non-pregnant women, and that they did not transmit the virus to the child.
In a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Maryland (USA) showed that long-term stress and experiences, including those associated with the pandemic, can significantly affect the quality of sperm. According to American experts, “…it is important to understand that social distancing does not mean social isolation. In this sense, what is good for our brain can be good for the reproductive system, and Vice versa…”
- take breaks from listening to and watching the news;
- repeated news about the pandemic can be devastating for mental health;
- pay attention to your body. Do breathing exercises, eat a healthy balanced diet, get enough sleep and avoid alcohol, and stop Smoking;
- find time for relaxation and other activities that give you pleasure;
- if you are diagnosed with coronavirus, you should avoid conception until you get better;
- you can freeze your sperm for future use.
If you have problems with an erection, ask your doctor if you can use levitra.