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How covid affects men proven and not fully understood facts

How covid affects men: proven and not fully understood facts

Healthy Man

It has been proven that SARS-CoV-2 virus (coronavirus) can penetrate the seminal fluid. This fact has also been confirmed for patients with COVID-19. From this we can conclude that, like hepatitis, measles, herpes viruses, coronavirus can have a negative impact on reproductive health. And there are understandable reasons for this, related to certain effects of covid on certain tissues and organs. In the worst cases, men face infertility.

Coronavirus damages testicular tissue

The main effect of covid on men is related to its effect on testicular tissue. The virus enters the body by the respiratory route and then travels generalized to all organs and systems, including the heart, intestines, thyroid, and genitals.

Through receptors the virus gets to certain enzymes in the testicular cells. In addition to damage to their tissues, it leads to disruption of sperm formation. Their quantity, quality, motility can decrease. There is evidence that coronavirus increases the fragmentation of DNA of sperm nuclei. This means breakage and damage of their chains, i.e. deterioration of ejaculate quality.

This fact was proved by scientists during postmortem studies of testicular tissue of patients with COVID-19. Specialists found edema, spermatogenesis disorders and complete absence of spermatozoa in the seminal tubules. Coronavirus was also detected in the sperm of over-infected men: in the disease stage in 15% of patients, and in the recovery stage in 8% of those examined.

Another complication of the coronavirus is inflammation of the testicles with orchitis. Some men experience vascularization by the formation of new blood vessels, while others complain of scrotal discomfort.

Covid has a negative effect on blood vessels

Another cause of the negative impact on male health is endothelial dysfunction, also caused by coronavirus. Here we are talking about disruption of the mucous membrane of small blood vessels. Because of this, the tissues that they feed do not receive sufficient blood supply and lose the ability to fully perform their functions. Endothelial dysfunction in the penis leads to erectile dysfunction.

Coronavirus causes a general inflammatory reaction

Covid and potency in men have a connection not only because of the direct effect of the virus on the genitals. Another reason for the deterioration of sexual function is the general inflammatory reaction that the coronavirus causes. The body inevitably reacts to it, which in men can manifest itself as a decrease in testosterone levels and a weakening of libido.

Other factors

Male fertility after covid is affected not only by the virus itself. The negative effect on sexual function is caused by medications prescribed for treatment and anxiety. Another provoking factor is oxidative stress, the pathological effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on spermatozoa. SARS-CoV-2 acts here as a factor provoking the development of oxidative stress. Therefore, antioxidants are used to treat patients with COVID-19, including the preservation of reproductive function.

What can we conclude

Does covid affect male potency? Yes, there have been documented cases all over the world that men who have undergone COVID-19 have a dramatic decline in fertility, weakened libido, worsened erections and impaired ejaculation. This is associated with testosterone deficiency, progression of endothelial dysfunction, testicular tissue damage

What to do in this case?

The extent to which the situation is reversible is not yet known. This means that even with an asymptomatic or mild course, there may be further consequences on the genital system. Erectile dysfunction, orchitis, spermatogenesis disorders can develop as complications. Infertility is not excluded, but according to experts, it is of a partial nature, and over time the situation can be corrected. But there is no 100% data on this yet, because the question of the consequences in the long term is still under study.

At the same time, there are now medical protocols for managing patients who plan to become pregnant after recovering from a coronavirus infection. Researchers recommend that men who are planning to become fathers have a spermogram.

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