Institut Marquès’ study to find out whether Covid-19 affects male fertility has already received hundreds of requests from men interested in participating.
Volunteers are offered a free semen assessment to find out the status of their fertility, whether or not they have been in contact with the disease.
Under the slogan “Covid is breaking our balls” last November Institut Marquès launched a study on the long-term impact of the Coronavirus on the male reproductive function. To do this, it offers in its clinics in Barcelona and Rome the opportunity to perform a free semen assessment to all men over 18 years of age who want to participate in this initiative and, at the same time, know the quality of their sperm. Hundreds of men have shown interest in participating in the trial through its website: https://www.hastaloshuevosdetoxicos.es/
The goal is to obtain a sufficiently large sample to determine whether COVID-19 affects the quality of sperm. “So far, information on tis issue has been based on small samples, often encountering contradictory information. For this reason, in order to obtain a sufficiently large sample to determine whether COVID-19 affects sperm quality, our goal is to achieve a high participation rate, both from men who have been in contact with the virus or who have had the disease, and also from those who did not get infected. In this way, we will be able to compare the results and determine if SARS-CoV-2 affects male fertility”, explains Dr Marisa López-Teijón, CEO of Institut Marquès.
Those interested only need to register through the Internet and fill out an online form, its only condition being over 18 years old. Participation is completely confidential and free. Once the sample will have been analysed, a specialist will provide the participant with a full report and help him assess the results.
Toxic chemicals, the main cause of poor semen quality… until today
Thanks to the studies carried out so far by Institut Marquès, many men have discovered that they could have problems when it comes to becoming parents in the future. “In recent years there has been a slow but progressive decrease in the number and quality of sperm in terms of its motility and morphology. In 6 out of 10 couples that resort to assisted reproduction treatments to become parents, the semen presents alterations of a greater or lesser degree. For this reason, at Institut Marquès we have an Andrology Unit specialised in male infertility”, explains Dr. López-Teijón. “An altered result in a semen analysis can warn of important anomalies and, in many cases, prevent, avoid or cure disorders that cause infertility and that usually go unnoticed”, warns the Director of Institut Marquès, awarded in 2019 as the Best Doctor of the Year in Assisted Reproduction in Spain and one of the 10 most influential women in the healthcare and medicine sector.
False myths about male fertility
Institut Marquès was a pioneer demonstrating to the scientific community that the causes classically attributed to worsening semen quality (stress, tight pants, alcohol, etc.) are a myth. As confirmed with its studies carried out in Spain, toxic chemicals are to be placed as the origin of the problem. With the new study launched this October, it will also be determined the impact of COVID-19 on the male reproductive function.
In addition to genetic factors and medical history, male fertility depends on environmental factors that are often unknown to the population. These environmental factors are chemical compounds commonly used in industry, agriculture, and at home, which can interfere with the development of the testicles and are proven to impair reproductive capacity.
The first contact with these toxic chemicals, the so-called endocrine disruptors, is to find at the beginning of life, as they reach the embryo from the maternal blood, through the placenta. The type and amount of toxins transmitted will depend on the levels that the mother has accumulated during pregnancy.