Can Covid-19 decrease the chances of having children? According to a recent German study, the virus could alter the quality of the sperm of men who have contracted the disease … or not!
Covid-19: less mobility of spermatozoa
The more the months go by, the more the list of the consequences of Covid-19 grows. Persistence of loss of taste and smell, fatigue, stiffness; cardiovascular complications or neurological damage, it is today a risk of alteration of the quality of sperm that is advanced by a team of German researchers in a study published Jan. 28 in the journal Reproduction.
” Abnormal levels of sex hormones and reduced sperm quality have been seen in patients during and after recovery from COVID-19 Say the scientists. To reach this conclusion, researchers at the University of Justus-Liebig in Giessen, Germany, for two months analyzed the sperm of 84 men (under the age of 40) infected with Covid-19, mostly affected by a severe form of the disease, and compared it with that of 105 individuals who did not contract the disease.
For the researchers, who specify that harmful effects on male fertility have already been observed in the event of contamination with Zika viruses, mumps and SARS-CoV-1, the results of their study ” constitute the first direct experimental evidence that the male reproductive system can be targeted and affected by Covid-19 “.
Impaired male fertility: investigation needs to be further investigated
But is it the infection itself or the treatments taken to fight it that are the cause? of an impairment of male fertility in men positive for Covid-19? The researchers do not rule out this possibility, since they specify that ” the male reproductive system may also be affected by medicines used to treat viral infection “. For the study, 44% of participants in the Covid group had been treated with corticosteroids and 69% with antivirals.
However, scientists would like to point out that this new side effect of Covid-19 ” awaits clinical evidence “And” deserves further investigation “. ” The duration and severity of these abnormalities and their potential impact on the offspring are not known. »They reassure.
Before considering the use of Medically Assisted Reproduction techniques after a Covid-19 infection, let’s not forget that if the average time for couples to start a pregnancy is 7 months to a year, we are not here in the field of applied mathematics …