US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Coronavirus infection COVID-19 affects the function of the male genital glands, according to a preprint study by a group of Chinese scientists published on the medRxiv platform.
The authors of the study compared the level of hormones in 81 patients of childbearing age with coronavirus infection COVID-19 with the level of hormones in 100 healthy men of the same age.
The study showed that in men with COVID-19, the level of luteinizing hormone (LH), which in the male body stimulates hormone-producing cells producing testosterone, was significantly increased, however, the ratio of testosterone to LH and the ratio of follicle-stimulating hormone to LH were greatly reduced.
“This study is the first direct evidence of the effect of COVID-19 on male sex hormones, requiring more attention to assessing the functioning of the male sex glands in SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection survivors, especially men of reproductive age,” the study said.
Scientists draw attention to the fact that more than half of patients with COVID-19 are men of reproductive age, therefore, after recovery, further analyzes of the function of the male sex glands are required, including the determination of sperm quality.
However, the authors acknowledge that the study is limited so far, since the SARS-CoV-2 virus has not been detected in semen in patients, which would be more direct evidence of male genital damage caused by this virus. While there isn’t much evidence based on the overall effect of the virus on male reproductive system. it is still important that those who might be exposed to the virus have themselves checked by a medical professional when they are able to – this is a must in order to fully understand the effect the virus has on male sexual health.
In addition, a small number of assay samples could also affect study statistics. Scientists also admit that stress and corticosteroid therapy could affect the function of the gonads of patients.
In mid-March, authorities in the Chinese province of Hubei, the focus of the coronavirus epidemic caused by COVID-19, published a report in which reproductive medicine specialists warned that, despite the lack of direct evidence, the infection could harm the male reproductive system.
However, a few hours later the report was removed from the provincial government website.
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