Speculative rumors about the COVID-19 vaccine and male infertility risk have long been voiced by anti-vaccine supporters.
Due to the false news about COVID-19 vaccines, especially the unfounded rumors and conspiracy theories spread on social media,
Many people are afraid of being vaccinated and hesitate, even refusing vaccines.
It is reported each and every day that thousands of people have been hospitalized, or managed in intensive care units,
There are even many thousands of people who lost their lives…
The common thing is their being not vaccinated…
I believe there are similar examples around everyone…
However, as we have all witnessed, there is a very serious danger,
And it’s not sneaky anymore, it’s coming shouting now…
The scientific data show that almost all of the hospitalization, intensive care admission, and death rates are composed of unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals.
As of this stage,
The pandemic has now turned into a situation where the unvaccinated will be sacrificed!!!
First of all, I need to explain the pathophysiology of the disease as simple as possible, in order not to be fooled by the lame words of anti-vaccine opponents.
Next, I’ll get into the topic of COVID-19, vaccines, and male infertility.
Let’s remember the current available data:
- The susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, is actually similar in men and women.
- In other words, the disease does not distinguish between sexes in terms of contagiousness.
- However, disease severity and mortality rates are reported higher in males in clinical follow-ups
- There are strong indications that factors such as lifestyle differences, smoking, lack of physical activity, obesity, which are known to be prominent in men, may be responsible for the reason.
- The virus can infect many systems, including the reproductive system
- The virus uses a receptor called ACE-2 while attaching to the human cell, and estrogen has been shown to regulate ACE-2 expression in women, as well as increase immunity.
- The virus uses transmembrane serine porotease – 2 (TMPRSS2) to enter the human cell. Expression and activity of TMPRSS2 in lung alveolar epithelial cells have been shown to be increased in males compared to females. This may explain why COVID-19 is more severe in men.
Viral Infections and Male Sexual Health:
We clearly know that increased cytokine concentrations during viral infections can seriously affect spermatogenesis, which means sperm production in men.
The decrease, error, or defect in sperm production also affects the man’s fertilization ability.
Any adverse conditions in the testicles, which inhibit the spermatogenesis process, suppress the production of testosterone.
In fact, studies have shown that the inflammation associated with COVID-19 can affect the integrity of the blood-testis barrier, which can negatively affect spermatogenesis as well.
What Does Blood – Testis Barrier Mean?
In one sentence: “It is one of the Divine structures that is essential for the continuation of the human race”
Although the sperm cells formed as a result of spermatogenesis which is completed in our bodies,
They are actually a “foreigner” to us, or rather to our immune system since it has a single chromosome in terms of genetic structure.
And the immune cells in our body are programmed to attack and destroy anything foreign to the body.
Here, this structure, called the blood-testis barrier, allows the passage of substances necessary for the growth and development of cells, but does not allow immune cells to enter;
So it works just like a filter to protect sperms from the immune system…
If such a barrier did not exist, the sperm would be perceived as a foreign structure to the body while still in the testicles and would be quickly destroyed by our own body cells!!!
So let me remind you what I have shared above:
Studies have shown that the inflammation associated with COVID-19 can affect the integrity of the blood-testicular barrier, which can directly affect spermatogenesis.
Independent of all these mechanisms, cytokines formed during viral infections can activate the autoimmune response,
In other words, it can send a false alarm signal to our immune cells,
And as a result, the testicles can be affected by the attack of our own immune cells which is called autoimmune orchitis.
Scientific evidence on this subject shows that:
- SARS-COV-2 virus is found in the semen of men with COVID-19 infection,
- SARS-CoV-2 virus can affect male hormones necessary for normal sperm production.
And a large number of male patients have reported testicular or scrotal pain following COVID-19 illness.
The most comprehensive publication by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) showing the negative effects of COVID-19 infection on testicular functions, sperm production, and male fertility was prepared by examining 185 scientific articles.
As a result of all evaluations and assesments, no traces, no signs and no link were found to show that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility in men,
On the contrary, it was stated in 50 reviews, 17 editorial comments and 9 original publications that the COVID-19 disease itself can cause male infertility.
Earlier in the article, I mentioned that the virus that causes COVID-19 uses a receptor called ACE-2 to bind to the human cell.
ACE-2 release in testicles is related to age.
Testicular ACE-2 is much higher in men aged 30 years compared to the ones 60 years of age.
The risk of testicular damage due to COVID-19 infection is higher in younger men than in the elderly!!!
Viruses such as Mumps, HIV, HPV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Cytomegalovirus, Zika, Ebola, and SARs-CoV can infect the testicles.
SARS-CoV has existed for a long time;
It can be regarded as the grandfather of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 infection…
However, the genetic structure of the new SARS-CoV2 is 76% identical to its ancestor, SARS-CoV.
Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 also has the ability to affect the testicles.
Another important factor is fever…
High fever is a significant risk factor that can affect male fertility.
Because the increase in testicular temperature directly causes sperm deficiency.
This is not a situation that is unique to COVID-19 for sure;
However, we all know that the fever is higher and lasts longer than expected during the COVID-19 infection.
This is not just a hypothesis;
Because the studies on fever associated with COVID-19 state that:
- Decrease in the number of mobile sperm,
- Decrease in sperm concentration,
- Decrease in the total sperm count had been demonstrated.
Do Sperm Parameters Change Before and After mRNA Vaccination?
Despite all the black-dirty propaganda of the anti-vaccine opponents, science has already clarified this issue…
But for some reason, their voices are louder somehow.
In the study, which examined sexual functions in men before and after two doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, no difference was detected in any sperm parameters.
In fact, a slight increase was detected after the second dose;
However, the researchers state that this is most likely due to the sexual abstinence applied during the study period.
Another critical point is that individuals with an underlying problem such as those who had oligospermia before the first dose, (that is, a lower sperm count than expected), did not show any changes after the second dose of the mRNA vaccine.
This was the proof of the already known,
It was technically unlikely to do any harm anyway;
However, since science acts with evidence, not perception, we have strong data on this issue as well.
Moderate to severe COVID-19 infections in men of reproductive age can cause:
- Decrease in sperm count,
- Testicular inflammation,
- Sperm duct inflammation and,
- Testicular pain due to the effect on testicles.
Although not considered to be common complications of COVID-19, these effects are often associated with reduced fertility.
So, COVID-19 infection can cause infertility in men;
Since the vaccine will protect you against infection, it will also protect against the risk of male infertility due to COVID-19;
Otherwise, it won’t cause sterility like charlatans’ disinformation!!!
If you are worried about not being infertile,
The best thing you can do is to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection by completing your COVID-19 vaccinations and not neglecting other precautions!!!
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