Impact of COVID-19 on fertility and assisted reproductive technology (ART): a systematic review

Vol. 63 No. 3, 2022

ROMANIAN JOURNAL of MORPHOLOGY and EMBRYOLOGY

Maria Sidonia Sandulescu, Constantin-Cristian Vaduva, Mirela Anisoara Siminel, Anda Lorena Dijmarescu, Sidonia Catalina Vrabie, Ioana Victoria Camen, Daniela Elise Tache, Simona Daniela Neamtu, Rodica Daniela Nagy, Andreea Carp-Veliscu, Maria Magdalena Manolea

The appearance of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been a major obstacle for the performing of current medical activities throughout the world. COVID-19 has affected humanity in many ways, thus causing a great medical, social, economic, and political instability. The aim of this study was to make an analysis of the scientific data obtained by so far to highlight the impact that COVID-19 has had on fertility and assisted reproductive technology (ART). Infection with SARS-CoV-2 alters the normal immune response by local and systemic damage to tissues and organs. After the virus enters the body, the first lesions are produced in the respiratory tract. Extrapulmonary lesions specific to COVID-19 include acute renal lesions/acute kidney damage, hepatocellular lesions, neurological diseases, myocardial dysfunction and arrhythmia, gastrointestinal diseases but also genital impairment. The possible impairment of the male reproductive system is because angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors are in an increased number in the testes, seminiferous duct cells, spermatogonia, Leydig cells and Sertoli cells. Many published studies to date have pointed out that COVID-19 could also affect female fertility and disrupt the functions of the female reproductive system. The theory that this virus can also be transmitted sexually and can cause infertility or testicular damage is supported by the fact that the virus can be isolated in the semen of COVID-19 patients but only during the disease. Choosing the best method of treating infertility during the COVID-19 pandemic is multifactorial, but the risk of infection and compliance with specific ART hygiene protocols must always be considered. Currently, there is no scientific basis regarding the fact that the COVID-19 vaccination would influence fertility.

Corresponding author: Andreea Carp-Veliscu, MD, PhD; e-mail: andreea_veliscu@yahoo.com

DOI: 10.47162/RJME.63.3.04 Download PDF
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