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SARS-CoV-2 effects on sperm parameters: a meta-analysis study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-04, 00:07 authored by Yuanzhi Xie, Mina Mirzaei, Mohammad KahriziMohammad Kahrizi, Alireza Mohammadzade Shabestari, Seyed Mohammad Riahi, Marziye Farsimadan, Giandomenico Roviello
AIM: The rapid outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic posed challenges across different medical fields, especially reproductive health, and gave rise to concerns regarding the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on male infertility, owing to the fact that the male reproductive system indicated to be extremely vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Only a small number of studies have investigated the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on male reproduction, but the results are not consistent. So, we performed this meta-analysis to draw a clearer picture and evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on male reproductive system. METHOD: We searched Embase, Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases to identify the potentially relevant studies. Standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was applied to assess the relationship. Heterogeneity testing, sensitivity analysis, and publication bias testing were also performed. RESULTS: A total of twelve studies including 7 case control investigations and 5 retrospective cohort studies were found relevant and chosen for our research. Our result showed that different sperm parameters including semen volume [SMD =  - 0.27 (- 0.46, - 1.48) (p = 0.00)], sperm concentration [SMD =  - 0.41 (- 0.67, - 0.15) (p = 0.002)], sperm count [SMD =  - 0.30 (- 0.44, - 0.17) (p = 0.00)], sperm motility [SMD =  - 0.66 (- 0.98, - 0.33) (p = 0.00)], and progressive motility [SMD =  - 0.35 (- 0.61, - 0.08) (p = 0.01)] were negatively influenced by SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, sperm concentration (p = 0.07) and progressive motility (p = 0.61) were not found to be significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in case control studies. No publication bias was detected. CONCLUSION: The present study revealed the vulnerability of semen quality to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data showed a strong association of different sperm parameters with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The results suggested that SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients may negatively influence their fertility potential in a short-term period, but more studies are needed to decide about the long-term effects.

History

Journal

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

Volume

39

Pagination

1555-1563

Location

Netherlands

ISSN

1058-0468

eISSN

1573-7330

Language

en

Issue

7

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC