It can be frustrating for a man when he is trying hard to have children with his partner without success. According to estimates, infertility in males accounts for around a third of all infertility cases.
There are multiple reasons why men might be unable to have children of their own. More recently, researchers in China have added the coronavirus to possible causes. Their findings suggest that men who recover from the virus may need to seek fertility testing. What do other experts have to say about this? Continue reading to learn more.
Potential Coronavirus Effects on Male Reproductive Health
In February 2020, a group of researchers reported a possible link between the COVID-19 virus and male fertility. This was due to one of the receptors they observed that the pathogen uses to penetrate human cells.
The particular receptor they centered their attention on is called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This was believed to have also played a role in the incidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Studies have shown that people with the coronavirus exhibit abnormal renal function in some cases, apart from respiratory symptoms. There could even be kidney damage.
Based on the foregoing, the researchers developed an interest in finding out whether the virus will also impact the urinary and reproductive systems in males.
Therefore, using online data sets, the scientists looked into the expression of ACE2 in different organs in humans. This led to the discovery that the receptor was highly expressed in kidney and testes cells. Specifically, there was high expression in renal tubular cells as well as Leydig and seminiferous duct cells in testis.
These findings prompted the Chinese scientists to theorize that the coronavirus could harm patients’ kidney and testicular tissue. They, therefore, advised that health professionals should give attention to testicular lesion risk in male patients.
However, it doesn’t appear like the study involved male patients with COVID-19.