“It’s a virus that binds to a receptor present in almost every organ in the body. In fact, the three most important organs in which the receptors are at the highest density are the lungs, the kidneys, and the testes,” explains Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, director of reproductive urology at the Miller School.
The lead author on the study, Ramasamy says his team conducted tests and determined the virus can harm testicular tissue, regardless of whether or not the men show symptoms.
“We found the virus can be present inside the testes through biopsies from, not just from men who have died from COVID, but also certainly from a man who has recovered from COVID and was currently asymptomatic at the time of the biopsy,” he explains.
These findings mean Coronavirus could have further damaging results down the line.
“It can possibly affect male fertility and it could possibly lead to sexual transmission from men to women,” says Ramasamy.
While the study is preliminary and more work needs to be done, he says this is an important first step.
Dr. Ramasamy advises young men who are diagnosed with COVID-19 to speak with their doctor about fertility potential and even the possibility of freezing sperm to avoid any future issues after being infected.