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- Reopening fertility care services across the world in the midst of a pandemic brings with it numerous concerns that need immediate addressing, such as the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on the male and female reproductive cells and the plausible risk of cross-contamination and transmission. Due to the novelty of the disease the literature contains few reports confirming an association of SARS-CoV-2 with reproductive tissues, gametes and embryos. Cryobanking, an essential service in fertility preservation, carries the risk of cross-contamination through cryogenic medium and thus calls for risk-mitigation strategies.
- The purpose of this Commentary is to assess whether the designation by New York State Department of Health of ‘sexual and reproductive health services as essential’ is consonant with the seemingly divergent objectives of providing patient-centred care and advancing national public health objectives in the resource-constrained setting of a global pandemic.
- The question of whether SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 [SARS-CoV-2], leading to the COVID-19 infection) can be harboured in the testes and/or semen is currently unanswered. It is essential to understand the limitations of both antibody and real-time PCR tests in interpreting SARS-CoV-2 data in relation to analyses of semen and testicular tissue without appropriate controls. This article critically analyses the evidence so far on this, and the possible implications.