SARS-COV-2 (Covid-19) and male fertility: Where are we?

Reprod Toxicol. 2021 Jan:99:65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2020.11.012. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2), a single-stranded RNA virus, was found to be the causal agent of the disease called coronavirus disease. During December 2019, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology, which caused severe-acute respiratory distress. The disease was termed coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Due to alarming levels of spread and severity, on the 11th of March 2020, the WHO declared the outbreak as a global pandemic. As of September 14, 2020, more than 29 million cases have been reported, with over 900,000 deaths globally. Since the outbreak, although not conclusive, discoveries have been made regarding the understanding of the epidemiology, etiology, clinical features, clinical treatment, and prevention of the disease. SARS-COV-2 has been detected in saliva, respiratory fluids, blood, urine, and faeces. Findings are however controversial regarding its presence in the semen or the testis. Hence, this review aimed to further analyse the literature concerning (i) the effects of previously identified human coronaviruses on male fertility (ii) the impact of Covid-19 on male fertility and (iii) the implication for general health in terms of infection and transmission.

Keywords: Covid-19; MERS−COV; Male fertility; SARS−COV; SARS−COV-2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • Fertility / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Infertility, Male / virology
  • Male
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification*
  • Spermatogenesis / immunology
  • Spermatozoa / pathology
  • Spermatozoa / virology
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testis / virology