A new study by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has discovered potential impacts COVID-19 can have on male fertility and sexually transmitted diseases.
Researchers looked at tissue from autopsies of six men who died from the COVID-19 infection and found the virus was still in their testicles.
They also found COVID-19 in the testicles of a 28-year-old male patient who had the coronavirus and recovered without showing symptoms.
“We also identified the presence of the virus in a man who underwent a testes biopsy for infertility but had a previous history of COVID-19,” said Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, an associate professor and director of reproductive urology at the Miller School.
“So the patient tested negative and was asymptomatic after having COVID-19 but still showed the presence of the virus inside the testes. The finding is novel, remarkable, and certainly worthy of further exploration,” added Dr. Ramasamy.
The study went on to question how much of the virus is needed to be present in the testes to be detected in semen, and which can be sexually transmitted.
“I’m fairly certain, just like mumps, about 20 to 30% of men are going to have some sort of affected fertility in their future,” Dr. Ramasamy said.
More research must be conducted in order to fully understand how testis tissue responds to COVID-19, but this current study is a step forward in better understanding the virus.
Dr. Ramasamy recommended that men of all ages who had COVID-19 and are suffering from testicular pain, should see a urologist.
“Testicular pain along with other symptoms could be a sign that COVID-19 has entered the testis, and if men are thinking about fertility and/or low testosterone either at present or in the future, they should get their testosterone levels evaluated with a blood test and sperm parameters evaluated with a semen analysis,” according to Dr. Ramasamy.