COVID-19 may affect male fertility but is not sexually transmitted: a systematic review.

F&S Reviews
Ilan Tur-KaspaDavid Cohen


To determine if SARS-CoV-2, which has led to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 global pandemic, is sexually transmitted. Since the putative receptor for the virus is identified in reproductive organs, it is also important to examine if COVID-19 may affect human fertility. A systematic review of English publications was conducted up to December 11, 2020 in PubMed, NIH iCite COVID-19 portfolio, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases, searching for SARS-CoV-2 in the testes; seminal, prostatic, and vaginal fluids; and cervical smears. A total of 1,997 records were identified, duplicates were removed, and 1,490 records were reviewed for eligibility by examining titles and abstracts. Subsequently, 202 full-text relevant articles were reviewed by 2 independent reviewers. Forty-seven studies (literature reviews, editorials, and guidelines) were assessed qualitatively, and 23 studies that tested the male and female reproductive tracts of patients with COVID-19 for SARS-CoV-2 were quantitatively analyzed. No epidemiological investigations to date have described evidence suggesting that COVID-19 is an STD. While angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor is found in the reproductive organs, the lack of co-expression of the TMPRSS2 modu...Continue Reading


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