Originally thought to mainly affect the respiratory system, researchers now know that the symptoms of Covid-19 are numerous and varied, with the virus affecting several different parts of the body. Now a new report has added possible detrimental effects on male fertility to the already-long list.
The paper published in the journal EClinicalMedicine earlier this month looked at samples of testis and epididymis (the tube that transports sperm from the testis) from 6 male Covid-19 patients who had died from the disease and 23 patients who were recovering from mild or moderate cases of the disease. They did a number of tests on these samples, comparing them to a control group of healthy men of similar ages to the ones recovering from Covid-19.
In the tissue from the men who had died of Covid-19, they found high levels of cells and proteins indicating inflammation, blood in the testes and epididymis and dying cells. In the men recovering from Covid-19, 39% of them had low sperm counts, despite having previously had at least one biological child through natural pregnancy. 61% of the men had an increased number of white blood cells in their semen, an indication that sperm function is compromised.
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