Blood samples from Covid-19 patients in small-scale study indicate what could be a testicle malfunction, researchers say.
This time last year, COVID-19 was not a known virus, and today, numerous research are ongoing to know more about the virus.
According to corona.help, there are over 3.9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus globally, with over 270,000 losing their lives due to the virus.
A small-scale research has now indicated that the pathogen could affect sex hormone levels in men.
Though still preliminary and not peer reviewed, the study is the first clinical observation of the potential impact of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on the male reproductive system, especially among younger groups.
In a paper published on the preprint research platform medRxiv.org, the researchers said they analysed blood samples from 81 men aged 20 to 54 who tested positive for the coronavirus and were hospitalised in January.
The samples were collected in the last days of their stay in hospital. Using the samples, the team looked at the ratio of testosterone to luteinising hormone (T/LH). A low T/LH ratio can be a sign of hypogonadism, which in men is a malfunction of the testicles that could lead to lower sex hormone production.
The average ratio for the Covid-19 patients was 0.74, about half the normal level.
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone critical for the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics including testes, muscle, bone mass and body hair.