(MEDICAL NEWS) – Many people who recover from COVID-19 experience long-term symptoms, such as brain fog or heart problems. Increasing evidence suggests that the virus can also impair fertility. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega have analyzed protein levels in semen of men who have recovered from COVID-19.
The pilot study suggests that even mild or moderate illness could change the levels of proteins related to male reproductive function, the researchers say.
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Although SARS-CoV-2 mainly affects the respiratory system, the virus – and the body's response to it – also damages other tissues. Recent evidence indicates that COVID-19 infection can reduce male fertility, and the virus has been detected in male reproductive organs. Firuza Parikh and Rajesh Parikh at Jaslok Hospital, Sanjeeva Srivastava at the Indian Institute of Technology and colleagues wondered if COVID-19 infection could have long-term impacts on the male reproductive system. To find out, they decided to compare levels of proteins in the semen of healthy men and those who previously had mild or moderate cases of COVID-19.