Doctors from San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium have shared a new warning to coronavirus patients saying that it may inflame the penis and also lead to infertility in men. This is an extremely uncomfortable condition that may affect health as well as the quality of life in men.
Doctors were treating a 37 years old man who experienced swelling around his genitals and had typical coronavirus symptoms i.e. dry cough, fever, fatigue, etc. The pain around the penis started 3 days before and this patient has been diagnosed positive for COVID019. The complete case history and details of this unique association are shared in the journal American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
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As to this paper, the coronavirus has affected and damaged the spermatocytes of this man after it was landed on the Leydig cells via ACE2 receptors. These cells are present in the male testes which explains why coronavirus may inflame the penis.
Despite the association with the virus, this is a rare finding and there are no more people coming with the same symptoms. For this patient, doctors designed a customized treatment using a combination of painkillers and antibiotics. He was discharged from the hospital after his pain and swelling were improved.
The purpose of publishing this unique case report is to alert other medics to identify the potential effects of coronavirus which were never heard before. It can help to understand the viral response better and it will also help to evaluate a better treatment plan for the patient.
Many other male patients of coronavirus have reported pain around the penis but it was ignored and never identified as an effect associated with the virus. There is no study to investigate why is this happening but with this first case report published, there are high chances that the scientific community will look into it.
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A few months ago, researchers presented this fact that coronavirus is likely to hit the genitals which is why the infection may last longer in men than women. This claim was linked to the virus’s entry to the human body through the ACE2 protein receptors which are found everywhere including the testes.
Although most of the evidence on coronavirus suggests that these receptors are found in the lungs, it can’t be ignored that ACE2 receptors are also found in the heart, intestines as well as testes.
Even in women, these receptors are present in the ovarian tissues as well but their number is very small. The researchers were able to find the difference in duration to get rid of the virus between men and women explaining that this period is longer for men.
This case study is published at MedRxiv but not been peer-reviewed yet. Some of the medical experts are suspicious about these findings.