A new study has revealed that men who contracted Covid-19 have their testosterone levels lowered by 30 per cent, on average.
Even two thirds of men who showed no symptoms reported a loss of libido.
Researchers in Turkey analysed levels of sex hormone in 232 men who were hospitalised after they tested positive for Covid-19.
What is hypogonadism?
More than half (51 per cent) of the men had developed a condition called hypogonadism, meaning their bodies did not produce enough testosterone.
On average participants’ levels were drained by 30 per cent post-infection, to borderline unhealthy levels.
Academics from the University of Mersin who ran the study claim there is a direct correlation between severe illness and lower testosterone levels.
Lead author, Professor Selahittin Çayan (a urologist at the university) said, “In our study, the mean total testosterone decreased, as the severity of the Covid-19 increased.
“The mean total testosterone level was significantly lower in the ICU group than in the asymptomatic group.
“In addition, the mean total testosterone level was significantly lower in the ICU group than in the standard care group.”
Why do men need testosterone?
Testosterone is key to the development of sex organs and muscle growth. The hormone also helps regulate the body’s immune responses, including fighting off viral infections.
Low levels have been linked to an increased risk of dying from the flu, as well as inflammation, heart disease and high blood pressure.
A healthy level of testosterone is usually considered to be above 300 nanograms per decilitre (ng/dl).
Results in the study showed that patients saw their levels drop by a third, on average, from 458 ng/dl to 315 ng/dl.
Professor Çayan describes the uses of the hormone saying, “Testosterone is associated with the immune system of respiratory organs, and low levels of testosterone might increase the risk of respiratory infections.
“Low testosterone is also associated with infection-related hospitalisation and all-cause mortality in male in ICU patients, so testosterone treatment may also have benefits beyond improving outcomes for Covid-19.”