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A Covid-19 can have a impact on male fertilityaccording to a research review conducted by the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine and Faculty of Medical Sciences of Santos.
Patients can show changes in both sperm count and a drop in testosterone levels, according to the survey recently published in the International Brazilian Journal of Urology.
In the evaluated articles, there were reports of alterations in the semen of the patients, with the detection of low levels of spermatozoa and even changes in motility. However, these changes were more pronounced in those who were seriously ill.
Covid-19: evidence in fertility
In some cases, there was information that the patients already had children, which rules out the possibility of a pre-Covid-19 problem. The presence of the virus in semen was very rare, which, according to the researchers, makes the possibility of sexual transmission very difficult.
Given this scenario, the review of studies was carried out with the main data collected from more than 8 thousand articles. Of these, only 49 met the authors’ criteria, totaling more than 3,000 individuals.
In addition, the drop in hormone levels was also related to the severity of the disease. According to one of the articles, this rate was inversely associated with admissions to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), suggesting that testosterone levels may be an early marker of disease severity.
“We don’t know if the impacts are transient or if they will have a long-term effect,” he says. Luca Schiliró Tristao, one of the authors of the study. “There is still much to be studied, long-term research is lacking because of this type of study”, he points out, about the survey that was carried out with patients still hospitalized.
This review also showed problems such as increased urination and inflammation in the testicles, but to a lesser extent. One of the explanations for the urological complications of Covid is the systemic inflammation caused by the disease.
Furthermore, the cells that the virus uses to invade the body — the angiotensin-converting enzyme receptors — are present in various organs such as the lungs, but are also present in the urinary and reproductive system, suggesting that these sites could be directly affected by the virus. .
Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).