The devastating Covid-19 has been here for quite some time now. Those affected have reported long-term complications in the form of heart disease, severe muscle pain, joint pain, and impoverished mental health.
Unfortunately, the damage does not end here as according to Dr. Sheldon Marks MD, from DadsAgain (ICVR – International center for vasectomy reversal), in recent Covid-19 infection research on adult males, it has been found that the infection may also create complications for testosterone in adult males.
In a recent study undertaken by the Miller School of Medicine, the researcher examined the tissues of 6 men who died from the novel virus. According to the researchers, signs of the infection were also found in the testicles of the subjects.
Now, the question arises whether the problem persists among men who have shown strong immunity to resist the virus?
The Virus in Testicles of Asymptomatic Adult
Surprisingly, another study took a 28-year-old man as the subject for a similar investigation. It concluded that the infection was present in the testicles despite the man being asymptomatic and recovering from the virus successfully.
Besides, another test was also conducted on a man with a prior history of the deadly virus. The researchers observed that the man reported complications relating to infertility and voluntarily went for a testes biopsy.
More Research is Needed
These findings are shocking and indicate the need for serious attention and in-depth futures research. In addition, since the infection is reported to survive in the testes for an enduring period, it is still to be seen whether it seeps into the semen, and emerges as a disease that is sexually transmittable.
According to an expert conducting research on the topic, there is a strong likelihood that around 20-30% of adult men would report fertility problems at some time in the future. The expert also cautions further research on a wider scale before jumping to any conclusions.
What Does Pain in Testicles Mean?
In addition to this, doctors and researchers who have examined the tissues of affected patients caution going to a urologist as soon as you experience pain in the testicles.
Pain in the testicles during the current time should not be treated the usual way. Instead, you’re advised to immediately see a urologist.
The pain could be an alert for you to know that the virus has already entered the testicles. Plus, if you’re concerned about your fertility and testosterone, you may have it checked with a baseline testosterone test in the future.
To get your testosterone tested, you may need to get a simple blood test and your sperm count evaluated.
Young People are at a Higher Risk
Another similar study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information specifies that if the virus in the testicles causes damage to two critical cells of Leydig, and Sertoli, then it may cause serious complications for fertility.
What’s more important to know is that the potential of the virus to affect fertility varies with age. Young male patients are at a high risk of fertility damage with the infection in the testes than older patients.
The findings of the study conclude that testicular infection-induced with virus entering the body may lead to infertility. However, the exact channel of the virus that is damaging the testes is yet to be known.
Researchers are speculating whether it may be due to an immunological response or mainly due to direct invasion. It would be interesting to see how further studies are developed to evaluate the fertility of affected males and how long is the follow-up period to observe the development of fertility complications.
Sperm Count Damage
As regards the sperm count damage due to the virus, it seems worthwhile to share that any kind of fever may cause damage to the sperm-producing capacity of the body.
The body’s ability to enhance sperm count may remain impoverished until the fever goes away. At worst, sperm counts may take three or more months to reach their previously mature levels.
Even though there are some studies alarming against the effects of Covid-19 on sperm count, the damage could be confirmed by conducting similar studies on a broader scale.
Moreover, as regards sperm counts, it is essential to highlight that there is still no clear conclusion on whether or not sperm counts are altered among asymptomatic men who showed strong immunity against the infection.
In case you feel any pain in your testes, or if you’re an adult man who just recovered from the virus, then you may want to visit a urologist. Look for the one who is an expert in male fertility.
It is simply recommended that you get a sperm count evaluation currently and another one after three months of recovering from the virus. Comparing sperm counts between the intervals seems useful both for those affected and for experimental studies in the future.
The advantage after a three-month evaluation is that infection or virus will have left the body after this period and healthy sperm would have surfaced.
In addition, to ensure that there are no abnormalities in your sperm count to deal with, you may get a final evaluation of your sperm count after 6 months.
While some studies conclude on a potential impact on the Leydig cells, the latest research by scientists has found out that Covid-19 will surely damage the testosterone-producing cells of those affected. However, even this study did not conclude that such an infection would be a direct transmission of the virus to the testes or immunological response to the infection.
It is yet to be discovered whether this compromising testosterone level is a result of the body’s immunological response or blood vessel damage. Researchers are also speculating that the damaged testosterone could be due to diminishing oxygen in the blood or it may also be among the potential side effects of treatment for the deadly infection.
In conclusion, it is too early to make any conclusive remarks on Covid-19 in damaging fertility. However, it is high time to caution extensive research on the matter and reveal interesting findings.
The current information is just the accumulation from a tiny exploration. It would be critical to conduct similar studies across a range of populations over enduring periods.
Data on thousands of male patients will be needed to determine whether Covid-19 poses a serious threat to sperm count and fertility level. It is worth knowing that any pain in the testicles necessitates immediate consultation with a urologist. Take precautions and get a couple of follow-up check-ups.