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Declining sperm counts: The impact of covid-19 on testicular function and sperm parameters and overall male reproductive performance


MOJ Women's Health
Panayiotis Michael Zavos

Abstract

Male infertility is linked to some viral infections including human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes simplex viruses (HSV) and human immunodeficiency viruses (HIVs). As for acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS?CoV?2), its effects on worldwide declines in sperm count and fertility have not been researched thoroughly. With the recent increase of viral infections due to the pandemic, the potential negative impacts that SARS-CoV-2 will have on male reproductive organs and male fertility have raised countless concerns. This review article aims to discuss the possible effects that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will have on an already declining male reproductive success while integrating the results of recent studies focusing on similar topics. Furthermore, this article will also mention the future implications that come with a more infertile population. Within the articles studied, it has become apparent that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has and will only decrease men’s sperm quality further. These findings became apparent through the study of oxidative stress established through the sperm’s production of reactive oxygen species1 and the COVID-19 virus’ ability to attack human spermatozoa produced in the testes due the expression of the ACE2 gene.2 As for the decline in male fertility prior to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there are many factors to be discussed, some of which include: tobacco consumption, alcoholism, diet, electronics, and higher rates of testicular cancer.3

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2, pandemic, tobacco consumption, alcoholism, diet, electronics

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