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Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, say researchers, and health experts around the world. But lack of awareness and misinformation are stopping many people from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. One of the common myths about COVID-19 vaccines is that it can affect sperm quality and reduce fertility potential in men. A team of Indian fertility experts at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, has debunked this myth.
In a pilot study, they compared the semen quality of 53 men before and after receiving Covishield vaccine. But they found no significant changes in their semen quality such as sperm number, motility characteristics, and structure (morphology), which indicated that their fertility potential was unaffected.
The research team reported their findings in the official journal of UK-based Society for Reproduction and Fertility.
No abnormalities such as azoospermia (complete absence of sperm), asthenozoospermia (lack of motility) or teratozoospermia (structural defects) were seen in any the subjects who received the Covishield vaccines, said Professor Satish Adiga, who led the team.
The other team members included Huidrom Yaiphaba Meitei, Shubhashree Uppangala, Vani Lakshmi and Guruprasad Kalthur.
Based on their observation, they concluded that "Covishield is not detrimental to sperm fertility potential."
Lt. Gen. (Dr) M.D Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, said that the study findings will help in dispelling any myths associated Covishield vaccine, which is commonly used in India, and remove any doubts men may have regarding the vaccine safety.
Professor Sharath Rao, the Dean of Kasturba Medical College, reminded people to get vaccinated to avoid COVID-19 complications.
Speaking about the study, Dr Geetanjali Sachdeva, Director, National Institute for Research in Reproductive and Child Health or ICMR- NIRRCH, said it provides prima facie evidence that COVID-19 vaccines do not adversely affect the semen quality.
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