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If you’re trying to conceive a child it’s important to know that COVID may affect fertility in men, through reductions in a needed protein. Researchers have analyzed these protein levels, and discovered that even mild or moderate levels of illness can affect long-term fertility. Once men recover from COVID, the evidence isn’t clear whether all of them will see a return to their previous levels of fertility, or how long that might take.
There were three specific areas where the sperm were affected, including their shape, their motility, and their overall count. To determine what was causing those differences, researchers looked at the different proteins that make up male fertility and reproductive health. They found that 27 proteins were at higher levels than what would normally be seen, while 21 proteins were at lower levels. These changes in protein levels ultimately contributed to problems with sperm health, activity, and production.
Further research is needed, because it’s important to look at any sperm and fertility protein changes that could come along with other illnesses. For example, does this same kind of issue happen in men who contract the flu, or is it specific to COVID? That’s just one of the questions researchers will be looking to answer, as they analyze the ways in which COVID may affect fertility, and how it’s the same as, or different from, other types of illnesses.
In the meantime, it’s important for couples who are consciously trying to conceive a child to be aware of the possibility that fertility issues may come into play if COVID is present or has been a recent diagnosis. While there is hope that fertility will return to normal in time, the changes to sperm still remain after recovery from the illness is outwardly complete. That’s something to be aware of, particularly if conceiving a child has taken a long time or there are any other additional fertility concerns to work around.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we can help protect your legal rights and interests related to surrogacy and assisted reproduction. Contact us to learn more