In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, a concerning issue has emerged: a potential link between the virus and decreased sperm quality in men. While fever is believed to be a contributing factor, research has also shown that the virus can damage the very cells that support sperm, and even bind to the sperm itself, potentially causing irreparable harm.
A study conducted in India revealed that a staggering 70% of men experienced a 49% decline in sperm quality ten weeks after recovering from Covid-19. However, the remaining 30% did not see a decline in measurable sperm parameters. While there was some improvement in sperm quality 21 weeks after recovery, most men still experienced a 12% decrease in sperm quality compared to before contracting the virus. And for 15% of men, there was no sign of improvement at all. The question of whether this damage is permanent remains unanswered.
The epididymis, a long and coiled tube in testes, which stores and transports sperm, has also been found to be inflamed in some men during mild to moderate Covid-19 infections. A study conducted by University of Sao Paulo Medical School showed that epididymis was inflamed in 11 of 26 men during mild to moderate covid infection but not in the degree of an intensive care unit. Furthermore, laboratory research showed that this coronavirus can infect the Sertoli cells in testes, which provide support for sperm.
As the medical community searches for ways to mitigate the damage caused by Covid-19, some have raised the possibility of using acupuncture as a treatment for male fertility issues. While there have been no studies specifically addressing the effect of acupuncture on Covid-related male fertility problems, previous research has shown that acupuncture can improve blood flow to the testes, improve sperm parameters, and reduce inflammation. Could this natural treatment hold the key to helping men overcome the damage caused by this modern pandemic?