Men may be infertile after Covid-19

  A new study has found that the quantity and quality of protein that determines the fertility of some men who have had Covid-19 have been drastically reduced.

Long-lasting Covid-19 symptoms such as brain fog, heart problems are becoming more common in many people recovering from the disease. In research published in the journal ACS Omega in early April, experts in India found that post-Covid-19 men may experience fertility problems.

Their findings suggest that even people with mild-to-moderate Covid-19 suffer from this problem due to adverse changes in male reproductive protein levels.

Previous studies have shown that nCoV mainly targets the human respiratory system, but it is clear that the immune response to the virus can wreak havoc throughout the body. Some previous works also hypothesized that men have decreased libido after Covid-19.

So, Professor Firuza Parikh, Professor Rajesh Parikh at Jaslok Hospital, Sanjeeva Srivastava, of the Indian Institute of Technology, and colleagues determined whether nCoV does indeed cause lasting changes in male fertility or not.

They compared the protein levels in the semen of two groups of men. One is 10 healthy men who have never had Covid-19. Two are seven men who have recovered from mild or moderate disease. All were aged 20-45, with no history of fertility problems.

In people who have had Covid-19, their sperm count is significantly lower and sperm motility is also greatly reduced. In addition, their amount of normal-shaped sperm was also significantly less.

When the scientists analyzed the proteins in the semen, they found 27 proteins at higher levels, while another 21 were at lower levels in the Covid-19 group than in healthy people. Many of these proteins are directly related to reproductive function, the authors say.

For example, men with Covid-19 had significantly lower levels of the protein semenogelin 1 and prosaposin than the control group. These are both proteins that affect fertility.

With these results, the authors confirm that nCoV causes direct or indirect changes to men's reproductive health and the effects last long after they recover. In addition, this study may help answer questions related to the phenomenon of some men with post-Covid-19 impotence.

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