A German study published its results Friday concluded that the Coronavirus may change the quality of the sperm in men who were infected with it, while experts stressed the need to verify the validity of these conclusions through other research.
A team of researchers from the University of Justus-Liebig (Giessen, Germany) conducted regular sperm analyzes over a period of two months for 84 men under the age of forty who had contracted the Coronavirus, most of whom had severe symptoms.
The researchers compared these sperms with those of 105 individuals who did not suffer from the disease.
The study showed that the signs of inflammation and oxidative stress in sperm in men with Covid-19 are twice as high compared to the other group, according to the article published in the scientific journal “Reproduction”.
The authors of the article also noted a “significant decrease” in sperm concentration, ability to move, and a greater number of sperms of altered shape among participants who had been infected with Covid.
The researchers concluded that “these results constitute the first direct test evidence that Covid-19 can affect the male reproductive system and affect it.” They indicated that the changes observed are consistent with “oligospermia, which is one of the most common causes of poor fertility in men.”
However, experts who were not involved in the study stressed the need for more research to be done before any conclusions can be drawn.
At the moment, there is no firm evidence of long-term damage to sperm or male reproductive capacity due to Covid-19, “said Alison Campbell, director of embryology at Care Fertility Clinics, a group specializing in infertility.
The study authors themselves did not rule out the hypothesis that the results are due to the treatments received by some patients, especially corticosteroids, anti-viral and anti-retroviral drugs, and some studies have shown a negative impact on sperm quality.
Of the participants in the infected group, 44 percent were treated with corticosteroids, while 69 percent received antivirals.
Alan Passy, a male fertility expert at the University of Sheffield in Britain, reminded that a fever can have a negative effect on sperm production, whatever the disease that causes it, “regardless of the impact of the Coronavirus.
Additional resources • AFP