‘Covid-19 can affect a male’s reproductive system’

The Claim: Covid-19 can affect a man's reproductive system.
The Verdict: claim verdict

YES, Covid-19 can pose a risk to men’s reproductive system and ‘potentially’ cause erectile dysfunction, studies show.

A study published in the World Journal of Men’s Health said Covid-19 can cause damage to blood vessels, which in turn could damage parts of the body the vessels supply, including the sponge-like tissue in the penis.

This was after observing the difference in tissue composition between men who had suffered from the disease and those who had not, as the Covid-19 infection had also reduced blood supply to the penis.

Then reports published investigations by physicians and researchers at the University of Miami in the United States analysed the autopsy tissues of the testicles of six men who died of Covid-19 infection.

They found that Covid-19 virus appeared in the tissues of one of the men while decreased numbers of sperm appeared in three.

The researchers noted that a patient – who had survived Covid-19 – had a testis biopsy about three months after his initial infection cleared, which showed the virus was still present in his testicles.

Their research discovered that Covid-19 affects the penis, as after analysing penile tissue from two men receiving penile implants showed the virus was present seven to nine months after their Covid-19 diagnosis.

These two men had developed severe erectile dysfunction, probably because the infection caused reduced blood supply to the penis.

These research studies opposes myths that have been circulating on social media that Covid-19 vaccines can cause erectile dysfunction.

In essence, it is true that the virus that leads to Covid-19 can harm a male’s reproductive system but it is false that Covid-19 vaccines do cause male infertility.

Scientists believe there is no evidence the Covid-19 vaccine harms a man’s reproductive system as they appear safe for the male reproductive system.

But the researchers warn that not taking the vaccine and contracting Covid-19 could affect the penis.

However, locally, medical doctors are yet to record such cases from male patients who have been infected from Covid-19.

In an interview with CITE, United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Narcisius Dzvanga, who is involved in the management of Covid-19 patients said they were yet to come across this as medical personnel had not recorded such with patients locally.

“I haven’t come across this, we have a platform where we discuss as doctors and have another platform where we discuss purely on Covid-19 matters and this has not been raised,” he said.

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