Publication date: Sep 19, 2023
SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, primarily affects the respiratory system by targeting the Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and TMPRSS2. However, these receptors are also present in other organs, including the testes, where a higher concentration of ACE2 receptors has been observed. This raises concerns about the potential impact of the virus on male fertility. In this study, we aimed to assess the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on semen parameters by comparing samples during and after infection in the same patients. The study enrolled 51 individuals who had contracted COVID-19 and analysed various parameters related to sperm quality and quantity, including C-reactive protein, testosterone levels, total sperm concentration, motility and morphology. A comparison was made between these parameters during the initial infection with SARS-CoV-2 and after a 2- and 5-month recovery period. The results indicated that all of the mentioned parameters were significantly affected during COVID-19 infection (PCR-ct, CRP, WBCs LH, FSH and testosterone levels, p-value = . 0001). Furthermore, the study assessed TC, TM and sperm morphology in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and found that these parameters were also significantly influenced during the infection, (p-value = . 0001; Morphology, p-value = . 0004). We observed significant alterations in sperm count and morphology during infection, suggesting a potential negative impact on sperm quality. Additionally, lower hormone levels were observed during COVID-19 infection, possibly due to increased inflammatory cytokines. However, both hormones and inflammation markers returned to normal following recovery. Our findings indicate a statistically significant change in total sperm count, motility and morphology post-infection, which aligns with previous studies. Discussion, COVID-19 have a transient impact on sperm parameters and fertility, emphasizing the importance of further investigation into the long-term implications.