The reproductive function of women with infertility after suffering COVID-19 infection
Keywords:woman, reproductive function, COVID-19, long-COVID, infertility, assisted reproductive technologies
The aim was to assess the status of reproductive function of infertile women after COVID-19 infection.
Materials and methods. The thorough examination included 120 patients who appealed to the reproductive clinic for infertility treatment. These women were divided into 2 groups: the main group - 80 women after COVID-19 infection (exclusion criteria - patients solely with the male factor of infertility), and the comparison group included 40 patients without COVID-19 infection in anamnesis.
Results. Patients with infertility and "long-COVID" have more pronounced disorders of the reproductive function compared to women without history of COVID-19 infection, namely: a decrease in the ovarian reserve (28.8% vs. 10.0%; p<0.05), various menstrual disorders (35.0% vs. 12.5%; p<0.05), including amenorrhea, irregular menstrual cycle and luteal phase insufficiency, high prevalence of genitourinary infections (37.5% vs. 17.5%; p<0.05). Against these disorders background, patients with "long-COVID" have significantly inferior results of in vitro fertilization programs: one in five has "poor ovarian response" (21.3% vs. 2.5%; p<0.05). Clinical pregnancy was diagnosed in 22.5% of patients versus 40.0% (p<0.05), and 2 women had a pregnancy loss in the 1st trimester, while all 16 women in the comparison group carried fetuses to live birth, i.e., the live birth rate was 20.0% versus 40.0% (p<0.05).
Conclusions. Determined changes in reproductive function may be directly or indirectly related to the "long-COVID" consequences, namely, a high level of stress, anxiety and depression, pernicious habits, general fatigability that leads to a sedentary lifestyle, sleep disturbances, the developing or exacerbation of somatic pathologies, among which stand out metabolic disorders and pathology of the liver and gastrointestinal tract.
This study was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. The research protocol was approved by the Local Ethics Committee of the abovementioned institution. Informed consents of the women were obtained for participation in this study.
The author declares no conflicts of interest.
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