Covid-19 a.k.a. Novel Corona Virus – almost every literate in the world would be aware of the virus and symptoms caused. However, the effects or damages caused by Corona to various parts/organs of the body is yet to be understood and studied completely. One such organ that is affected by the virus are the testicles.
Before getting into how Corona Virus affects fertility in men, we need to know, how Corona virus enters the cells in our body and multiplies/replicates.
ACE2 receptors – Angiotensin Converting Enzymes 2 play a very important role in Covid-19. Corona Virus binds to the ACE2 receptors in the cells, enter the cells and start multiplying. When the virus multiplies and comes out of the cell, the host cell eventually dies off. The cells in the body with high levels of ACE2 are highly prone to getting attacked by the Corona Virus cells. As per multiple studies, testicular cells have high levels of ACE2 in them, making them a potential target for Corona Virus. Corona Virus enters the testicular cells to multiply and kills them eventually. Among different testicular cells, following four types of cells have high amounts of ACE2:
- Leydig Cells
- Seminiferous duct cells
- Sertoli cells
Destruction of these cells directly affects the ability to produce mature sperm in the testicles, consequently leading to infertility.
Good news is, so far, the studies done show that the effects are short lived and once the person recovers from Covid-19 showed normal levels of sperm production and absence of Corona Virus in testicles or semen. Many specialist doctors opine that the effect of Corona Virus on a man’s fertility is similar to any influenza virus that affects the production of sperm for a shorter period of time.
However, no long term study has been done on men who have recovered from Covid-19. Corona Virus has also caused Orchitis (inflammation of one or both testicles) in some patients. Inflammation and immunological response of the body leads to testicular damage resulting in infertility.
How do you protect yourself from catching Novel Corona Virus?
While there are no definite or 100% fool proof methods of completely protecting oneself from Corona Virus, washing hands and wearing masks along with social distancing can help in preventing Corona Virus entering your body. As the disease is shown to spread through air, one should not panic upon getting infected. Proper diet, medicines and enough rest should help you in recover from Covid-19.
- Spend enough time in sunlight and make sure that your body has enough amounts of Vitamin D. We advise you to rely on sunlight to generate Vitamin D rather than on supplements.
- Have plenty of Vitamin C and ascorbic acids by consuming lots of lemon juice, citrus fruits, amla etc. Again, it is better to take naturally occurring Vitamin C rather than supplements because they are easily absorbed by the body.