Just in case the coronavirus still wasn't ominous enough, now there's evidence that it's even capable of reducing male fertility and damaging sperm cells.
It turns out that COVID-19 is capable of killing off sperm and causing inflammation in the testicles, potentially to disastrous ends as far as people's ability to reproduce is concerned, according to a new study published Friday in the journal Reproduction.
"These effects on sperm cells are associated with lower sperm quality and reduced fertility potential," lead study author Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki, a Ph.D. student at German's Justus Liebig-University said in a press release. "Although these effects tended to improve over time, they remained significantly and abnormally higher in the COVID-19 patients."
However, experts who aren't affiliated with the research caution against drawing overbroad conclusions about fertility, especially in the long term.
"Men should not be unduly alarmed," said Alison Campbell, director of embryology at the CARE Fertility Group in Britain, according to Agence France-Presse. "There is currently no definitive evidence of long-lasting damage caused by COVID-19, to sperm or male reproductive potential."
But the fact that there's confusion over the data at all — especially amidst a wider decline in fertility — means that this is an area doctors and scientists should continue to pay very close attention to.
Share This Article
READ MORE: Covid-19 infection may reduce fertility in men: study [Agence France-Presse]
More on fertility: Men Are Losing The Ability to Reproduce, Researcher Warns