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Abstract

Volume 23, Issue 5 (September 2021) 23, 479–483; 10.4103/aja.aja_31_21

Semen parameters in men recovered from COVID-19

Tong-Hang Guo1, Mei-Ying Sang1, Shun Bai1, Hui Ma1, Yang-Yang Wan1, Xiao-Hua Jiang1, Yuan-Wei Zhang1, Bo Xu1, Hong Chen1, Xue-Ying Zheng1,2, Si-Hui Luo1,2, Xue-Feng Xie1, Chen-Jia Gong1, Jian-Ping Weng1,2, Qing-Hua Shi1

1 The First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, The CAS Key Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Chronic Diseases, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China
2 The Clinical Research Hospital (Hefei) of Chinese Academy of Science, Hefei 230001, China

Correspondence: Dr. QH Shi (qshi@ustc.edu.cn) or Dr. JP Weng (wengjp@ustc.edu.cn)

Date of Submission 14-Dec-2020 Date of Acceptance 11-Mar-2021 Date of Web Publication 11-May-2021

Abstract

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is emerging as a global health threat and shows a higher risk for men than women. Thus far, the studies on andrological consequences of COVID-19 are limited. To ascertain the consequences of COVID-19 on sperm parameters after recovery, we recruited 41 reproductive-aged male patients who had recovered from COVID-19, and analyzed their semen parameters and serum sex hormones at a median time of 56 days after hospital discharge. For longitudinal analysis, a second sampling was obtained from 22 of the 41 patients after a median time interval of 29 days from first sampling. Compared with controls who had not suffered from COVID-19, the total sperm count, sperm concentration, and percentages of motile and progressively motile spermatozoa in the patients were significantly lower at first sampling, while sperm vitality and morphology were not affected. The total sperm count, sperm concentration, and number of motile spermatozoa per ejaculate were significantly increased and the percentage of morphologically abnormal sperm was reduced at the second sampling compared with those at first in the 22 patients examined. Though there were higher prolactin and lower progesterone levels in patients at first sampling than those in controls, no significant alterations were detected for any sex hormones examined over time following COVID-19 recovery in the 22 patients. Although it should be interpreted carefully, these findings indicate an adverse but potentially reversible consequence of COVID-19 on sperm quality.

Keywords: COVID-19; semen; sex hormones; sperm count; sperm motility; spermatogenesis

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