SARS-COV-2 Infection and Reproductive Capacity: What do we know after the Pandemic?

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Devleta Balic

Abstract

Whether and in what way the infection could affect reproductive capacity in the long- term is a question that preoccupies not only doctors but also patients. The SARS-COV-2 virus affected their function through angiotensin converting receptor-2 and other receptors that are present in the tissues of female and male reproductive organs. It was noticed that men suffering from the infection have a reduced number of spermatozoa in the acute phase of the disease as well as in convalescence. The level of testosterone also plays a role in the impact of infection, which explains the more severe forms of the disease in older men and those with hypogonadism. Infection with SARS-COV-2 affects women’s fertility through the direct impact of on ovarian function, sex hormone production, and endometrial receptivity, but also through the impact of stress that pandemic infection can cause by affecting the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Speculations about the impact of the vaccine on the reproductive capacity of young women were the reason why a large number of young people did not opt for the vaccine. Menstrual disorders,  reduced sperm concentration, premature ovarian failure, erectile dysfunction, and anorgasmia are mentioned today as long-term effects of infection with the SARS-COV-2 virus. Despite numerous published studies on the impact of SARS-COV-2 on the reproductive function, it is still not possible to talk about the real long-term impact of the infection, but most of the data we have so far suggest that the impact of the infection was temporary except in rare cases.

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1.
Balic D. SARS-COV-2 Infection and Reproductive Capacity: What do we know after the Pandemic?. SEE J Immunol [Internet]. 2023 Jul. 20 [cited 2024 May 20];6(1):45-9. Available from: https://seejim.eu/index.php/seejim/article/view/6046
Section
Clinical Immunology

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