Covid and Conception

Covid and Conception
on Thu 2 Jul

Those of us who have long suspected that our hectic lifestyles adversely affect fertility would not be surprised that there have been a significant number of pregnancies in couples awaiting IVF during lockdown.

Of course, we must be careful not to resort to “The Journal of Clinical Impressions," but it will be interesting I think, to look at national birth rate statistics for the end of 2020 and the first months of 2021.

The other side of the coin - whether the Corona virus can adversely effect Male Fertility - is unknown.

We do know from experiences with other viruses that episodes of high fever are often associated with transient reductions in Sperm production. We also know that the proteins called cytokines, associated with severe inflammation have a similar effect. But there is some evidence that the Corona virus could have more specific effects.

This virus has an affinity for an enzyme system which is mostly present in the kidney, it is known by the short hand “ACE2”. Interestingly, there are the same ACE2 receptors in the testicles.

I have not yet seen any men with Corona virus and painful testicles, so this is not like mumps, and thus serious testicular damage is likely to be rare.

Only time will tell whether there are any specific effects on Sperm production, and we are currently collaborating with colleagues in Australia, to attempt to establish whether the virus itself can be detected in testicular biopsies.

So stay well, and safe, because this virus really hasn’t gone away.

 

Jonathan 

 

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