Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-qcsxw Total loading time: 0.751 Render date: 2022-08-07T22:38:54.970Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Female fertility under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2021

Meng Wang
Affiliation:
Reproductive Medicine Center, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
Bo Zhang*
Affiliation:
Reproductive Medicine Center, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
Lei Jin*
Affiliation:
Reproductive Medicine Center, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
*
Authors for correspondence: Bo Zhang, E-mail: bo.zhang@tjh.tjmu.edu.cn; Lei Jin, E-mail: leijintjh@163.com
Authors for correspondence: Bo Zhang, E-mail: bo.zhang@tjh.tjmu.edu.cn; Lei Jin, E-mail: leijintjh@163.com
Rights & Permissions[Opens in a new window]

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a serious respiratory disease mediated by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has caused millions of confirmed cases and morbidity, and the crisis has greatly affected global economy and daily life and changed our attitudes towards life. The reproductive system, as a potential target, is at a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and females are more vulnerable to viral infection compared with males. Therefore, female fertility and associated reproductive health care in the COVID-19 era need more attention. This review summarises the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the female reproductive system and discusses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on female fertility. Studies have proven that COVID-19 might affect female fertility and interfere with assisted reproductive technology procedures. The side effects of vaccines against the virus on ovarian reserve and pregnancy have not yet been well investigated. In the future, the female fertility after SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination needs more attention because of the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Type
Review
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

Introduction

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a serious respiratory disease mediated by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (Ref. Reference Hu1). COVID-19 has been identified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has caused millions of confirmed cases and morbidity, and the numbers are still increasing at an alarming rate (Ref. Reference Matta2). SARS-CoV-2 is a pathogen with human-to-human airborne and aerosol transmission (Ref. Reference Zhang3), and the respiratory system, such as lung, is the main target for viral infection (Ref. Reference Salian4). However, studies have also reported symptoms of other organs and systems, including the kidney, heart and reproductive system (Refs Reference Zou5Reference Bader7). Moreover, females are more vulnerable to viral infection compared with males (Ref. Reference Qian8), putting females – in particular, females of childbearing age – at an increased risk of reproductive system impairment. Therefore, female fertility and associated reproductive health care in the COVID-19 era need more attention.

In this study, we summarise the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the female reproductive system, review the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on female fertility and discuss the current status of reproductive health care during the pandemic.

Mechanism of infection in the female reproductive system

Relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2, a homologue of ACE, is a zinc metalloprotease with hydrolase activity (Ref. Reference Donoghue9) that is able to hydrolyse angiotensin (Ang) I and Ang II to generate Ang-(1–9) and Ang-(1–7), respectively (Ref. Reference Vickers10). Ang II and Ang-(1–7) hormones are the most important hormones produced in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and have opposite effects (Ref. Reference Simões, Silva and Teixeira11). Ang II induces vasoconstriction and inflammatory reactions (Ref. Reference Campbell-Boswell and Robertson12), promotes proliferation (Refs Reference Ray13, Reference Hiruma14) and facilitates fibrosis and tissue remodelling (Ref. Reference Bataller15), whereas Ang-(1–7) has anti-inflammatory properties (Ref. Reference Oliveira16), mediates vasodilation (Ref. Reference Brosnihan17) and alleviates cardiac and metabolic dysfunction (Refs Reference Iwata18Reference Giani21). Thus, ACE2, a key component of the RAS, is essential to balance Ang II and Ang-(1–7) levels (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Components of RAS and its role in female ovarian function. Ang I, angiotensin I; Ang II, angiotensin II; ACE, angiotensin-converting enzyme; Ang-(1-9), angiotensin-(1–9); Ang-(1-7), angiotensin-(1–7); AT1, angiotensin II type 1; AT2, angiotensin II type 2; RAS, renin-angiotensin system.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus gains access to host cells via attachment to the ACE2 receptor (Ref. Reference Ashour22). Coronaviruses are spherical-enveloped viruses capsuled with positive single-stranded RNA. The structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 are composed of spike (S), membrane (M), envelope (E) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins. The first three proteins are embedded in the viral envelope, whereas the N protein, a core component of the nucleocapsid, interacts with the viral RNA (Ref. Reference Wang23). Similar to SARS-CoV-1, the viral S protein of SARS-CoV-2 has a strong affinity for ACE2 (Ref. Reference Sriram and Insel24). Viral S proteins have two subunits, the S1 and S2 domains. The S1 domain directly binds to receptors of host cells, whereas the S2 domain mediates viral and host cell membrane fusion (Refs Reference Simmons25, Reference He26). This process is also facilitated by the proteolytic cleavage and activation of viral S proteins induced by the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) in the cytoplasm (Ref. Reference Hoffmann27). Then, viral genomic RNA is released into the target cell cytoplasm and replicates using the host cell organelles, resulting in new virion release (Refs Reference Boopathi28, Reference Jiang29). SARS-CoV-2 infection has been proven to decrease the activity and downregulate the expression of ACE2, resulting in an increase of Ang II recruitment and a decrease in Ang-(1–7) production in circulation, which explains the inflammatory reactions investigated in COVID-19 patients (Refs Reference Verdecchia30, Reference Kuba31).

ACE2 and ovarian function

It has been reported that ACE2 exists in a variety of mammalian ovaries, including rats (Ref. Reference Pereira32) and cattle (Ref. Reference Tonellotto dos Santos33). Additionally, ACE2 be detected in ovaries of women of reproductive age (Ref. Reference Reis34). ACE2 is highly expressed in stromal cells, theca cells and granulosa cells, as well as oocytes (Refs Reference Pereira32, Reference Barreta35). In the female reproductive system, ACE2 is predominantly enriched in the ovary (Refs Reference Lee36, Reference Jing37), making it a potential target organ for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, previous studies have demonstrated that ACE2 has been detected in embryos before the 8-cell stage and in trophectoderm cells of late blastocysts, and TMPRSS2 exists in embryos in the late blastocyst stage (Ref. Reference Cheng38), revealing a high SARS-CoV-2 infection susceptibility in peri-implantation embryos (Ref. Reference Chen39).

Ang II, most abundantly expressed in granulosa cells (Ref. Reference Miyabayashi40), regulates steroid secretion (Ref. Reference Shuttleworth41), promotes follicle growth (Ref. Reference Ferreira42), facilitates oocyte maturation (Ref. Reference Yoshimura43), contributes to follicular atresia (Ref. Reference Obermüller44), affects the ovulation process (Ref. Reference Xu and Stouffer45) and induces corpus luteum angiogenesis (Ref. Reference Sugino46). Although Ang-(1–7), found predominantly in theca-interstitial cells, induces steroidogenesis, especially oestradiol and progesterone production (Ref. Reference Costa47), enhances ovulation (Ref. Reference Viana48), resumes oocyte meiosis (Ref. Reference Honorato-Sampaio49) and regulates oocyte maturation (Ref. Reference Cavallo50). In addition, ACE2 can be found in follicles in various developmental stages, and the expression levels are regulated by the secretion of gonadotrophin, revealing the possible relationship between ACE2 expression and female fertility. Moreover, the level of Ang-(1–7) in human follicular fluid has been proven to be positively related to the oocyte maturation rate. This evidence supports the significance of Ang-(1–7) levels in the oocyte maturation process (Ref. Reference Cavallo50). Furthermore, the decrease in ACE2 activity induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection can increase circulating Ang II, which might alter ovarian function, influence the biological process of oocyte development and maturation, impact oocyte quality and ultimately impair fertility function (Ref. Reference Lee36). In addition, Ang II recruitment also increases oxidative stress (Ref. Reference Pan51), which may lead to inflammatory reactions and affect ovarian physiology and reproductive ability (Fig. 1).

ACE2 and endometrial activity

The uterus – in particular, the endometrium – is essential for female fertility, and the components of the RAS can be found in the uterus, especially in endometrial epithelial and stromal cells (Refs Reference Vaz-Silva52, Reference Brosnihan53). This makes the endometrium more susceptible to viral damage (Ref. Reference Abhari and Kawwass54), which might induce embryo implantation impairment. Some studies have suggested that RAS component expression varies with the menstrual cycles (Refs Reference Jing37, Reference Vaz-Silva52). ACE2 expression has been proven to be more abundant in the secretory phase than in the proliferation phase, and lower in stromal cells than in epithelial cells (Refs Reference Herr55, Reference Vinson56). Moreover, the expression of ACE2 is reported to increase with female age (Refs Reference Abhari and Kawwass54, Reference Henarejos-Castillo57). This evidence indicates that older females in the secretory phase are likely to be more susceptible to endometrial infection compared with younger women in the proliferation phase.

Evidence has demonstrated that the maintenance of Ang II and Ang-(1–7) balance is critical for regulating menstrual cycles because of the significant role of RAS in angiogenesis and tissue remodelling. Ang II, with tissue remodelling properties, induces spiral artery vasoconstriction, facilitates endometrial regeneration, enhances stromal proliferation and initiates menstruation (Refs Reference Ahmed58Reference Li and Ahmed60). SARS-CoV-2 infection in the uterus might disturb the Ang II/Ang-(1–7) balance, decrease Ang II expression levels and alter Ang II distributions in the uterus, which may cause severe endometrial and myometrial disorders (Refs Reference Vaz-Silva52, Reference Deliu61), such as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (Ref. Reference Li and Ahmed62). Moreover, several studies have reported an association between ACE2 expression and the prognosis of endometrial cancer (Refs Reference Watanabe63, Reference Delforce64), revealing the significant role of ACE2 and RAS in uterine function.

ACE2 and pregnancy

The placenta provides nutrient and oxygen exchange between the mother and foetus. Although limited studies have investigated and analysed RAS function in the placenta, all RAS components are expressed in the placenta (Ref. Reference Ito65), even in human placental cell lines (Ref. Reference Pan66). The RAS has been assumed to regulate placental function by several studies (Ref. Reference Anton and Brosnihan67). Additionally, ACE2 is ubiquitous in the human placenta (Ref. Reference Valdés68), the expression of which is even higher than that in the lung, indicating that the placenta might be a potential target for the viral infection. Interestingly, ACE2 levels differ in various areas of the placenta (Ref. Reference Valdés68). In placental villi, ACE2 expression levels are most abundantly detected in the syncytiotrophoblast, cytotrophoblast and vascular smooth muscle of primary and secondary villi (Ref. Reference Neves69), whereas in the maternal stroma, ACE2 is found predominantly in invading trophoblasts, intravascular trophoblasts and decidual cells (Ref. Reference Valdés68). ACE2 can be detected from 6 weeks of gestation until birth, but it is also expressed differently throughout foetal development (Ref. Reference Vaswani70). It has been proven that ACE2 levels increase in early gestation but decrease dramatically in late gestation (Refs Reference Pringle71, Reference Petit72). Furthermore, the most highly expressed areas transfer from the decidual zone, luminal epithelium and glandular epithelium to the labyrinth placenta, amniotic epithelium and yolk sac epithelium during gestation (Refs Reference Neves69, Reference Ghadhanfar73).

The RAS is mainly involved in balancing vasoconstriction and vasodilation and regulating foetal development during pregnancy, and RAS components are also reported to influence several other biological processes. Ang II facilitates trophoblast invasion and angiogenesis (Ref. Reference Hering74), and the overexpression of Ang II may result in gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia (Ref. Reference Jing37). Excessive vasoconstriction in preeclamptic women induced by high Ang II levels is attributed to the reduction of blood and nutrition supply in foetuses (Refs Reference Anton75, Reference Shibata76). Similarly, decreased serum Ang-(1–7) and increased plasma Ang II levels can be observed in women diagnosed with preeclampsia (Ref. Reference Brosnihan77). Moreover, decreased ACE2 and Ang-(1–7) levels in the placenta may induce intrauterine growth restriction (Ref. Reference Ghadhanfar73). Additionally, ACE2 knockout in mice during pregnancy can result in placental function disorders, such as placental hypoxia, and finally foetal growth retardation (Refs Reference Bharadwaj78, Reference Yamaleyeva79). Furthermore, an aberrant Ang II/Ang-(1–7) ratio is associated with premature birth (Ref. Reference Chen80) and cardiovascular disorders in adult offspring (Ref. Reference Irving81), which could be attenuated by upregulating ACE2 in rats (Ref. Reference Bessa82).

Impacts of COVID-19 on the female reproductive system

COVID-19 and female fertility

Ovaries may be a potential target for SARS-CoV-2 infection (Ref. Reference Lee36), although until now, the impact of viral infections on female fertility has been debated. Ovarian reserve is used to evaluate female fertility, and basal antral follicle count, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and sex hormones, such as follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, oestradiol, progesterone and testosterone, are the most frequently utilised indicators of ovarian reserve (Ref. Reference Moolhuijsen and Visser83). In addition, a regular menstrual cycle can also reflect ovarian reserve in women of reproductive age (Ref. Reference Younis84). Li et al. analysed the clinical data from 237 females with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and they found that nearly a quarter of the participants had menstrual cycle changes, including volume and duration changes, despite similar serum AMH and sex hormone concentrations in the compared cohorts (Ref. Reference Li85). Another study reported a negative association between serum levels of both AMH and oestradiol and the severity of viral infection (Ref. Reference Ding86). However, no significant differences have been observed in women with non-severe and severe COVID-19 in terms of status, volumes or phases of menstrual cycles. Of note, COVID-19 may act as a potential risk factor for ovarian function and cause ovarian injury, including decreased ovarian reserve and hormone disturbance, in infected women (Ref. Reference Ding87).

According to previous human oocyte transcriptome and proteome databases, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, the essential molecules for SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells, are expressed in human oocytes from the in vitro fertilisation process (Ref. Reference Virant-Klun and Strle88). Immunohistochemistry analyses in human oocytes, as well as pre- and peri-implantation embryos, have also reinforced the strong expression of ACE2 in human oocytes and blastocysts (Ref. Reference Essahib89). Nevertheless, no studies have systematically evaluated and reviewed the impacts of SARS-CoV-2 infection on human oocyte development potential to date. However, in light of the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection to early embryonic development, great attention should be paid to embryonic development potential in infected women. Whether COVID-19 might cause oocyte and embryo impairments remains elusive and needs further evaluation.

COVID-19 and pregnancy

SARS-CoV-2 infection, which constitutes a threat to both the mother and foetus, may be associated with various pregnancy and neonatal complications (Refs Reference Chen90, Reference Chen91). Reduced ACE2 levels in gravidas after infection induce a rise in placental Ang II levels, which promotes vasoconstriction in the placenta, accompanied by an increasing risk of gestational hypertension, and ultimately preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction (Ref. Reference Chen80). A recent systematic review also concluded that gravidas with COVID-19 have a higher risk of maternal death and preterm birth, and their babies are more likely to be hospitalised in the neonatal department (Ref. Reference Allotey92). Currently, no evidence has clearly proven that COVID-19 causes placental dysfunction, whereas to avoid possible obstetric risks, more obstetricians and gravidas reportedly prefer caesarean section (Refs Reference Chen91, Reference Engels Calvo93). Additionally, because of the high expression of ACE2 in the kidney, COVID-19-associated acute kidney injury is quite frequent (Ref. Reference Ronco94), and renal failure subsequently serves as a risk factor for death in hospitalised patents, particularly critically ill patients (Refs Reference Nadim95, Reference Gabarre96). A previous study has reported viral infection in renal tubular cells (Ref. Reference Pacciarini97) and increased ACE2 levels in the kidneys of pregnant mice (Ref. Reference Brosnihan98). Thus, maternal kidney function during pregnancy in infected women is worthy of our attention.

It has been reported that foetuses born to mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 tested positive for nucleic acid identification through nasopharyngeal or anal swabs a few days after birth (Ref. Reference Zeng99). Moreover, newborns of infected women exhibited elevated serum SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin (Ig) M levels 2 h after birth, indicating the probable occurrence of intrauterine infection (Refs Reference Egloff100, Reference Dong101). These cases suggest that infants may be infected during gestation. Nevertheless, a systematic review of 936 neonates with maternal infection has found that only 27 of them (2.9%) had a positive viral RNA test, revealing that vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has a low incidence (Ref. Reference Kotlyar102).

According to GeneCards, ACE2 exists in the female breast, providing an entry site for SARS-CoV-2 infection (Ref. Reference Jing37). A study performed SARS-CoV-2 nuclei acid identification tests in breast milk specimens from three infected females, and one of them tested positive, revealing the possibility of maternal–infant transmission by breastfeeding (Refs Reference Jing37, Reference Mahyuddin103). Moreover, the immune system of neonates has not been fully established (Ref. Reference Basha104), and close contact during breastfeeding may lead to a higher risk of potential viral infection. Two cases of neonatal infection caused by unprotected breastfeeding by new mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 have also been reported (Ref. Reference Jing37). Thus, although breastfeeding can effectively reduce the risks of neonatal infections in the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems and metabolic disorders (Ref. Reference Salone105), we still strongly recommend artificial feeding to infected mothers. If the mothers insist on breastfeeding, adequate disinfection of hands and mask wearing should also be encouraged before and during breastfeeding to minimise the chance of viral transmission through close contact (Ref. Reference Baud106). In addition, a disinfected breast pump is also recommended.

COVID-19 and human gametes and embryos

Limited studies have provided direct evidence of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on human gametes and embryos until now. Wang et al. found that SARS-CoV-2 infection in females might not negatively affect female fertility and embryo development by analysing assisted reproductive technology (ART) data (Ref. Reference Wang107). The study compared the embryo outcomes of females with and without a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection via propensity score matching and found that the ovarian reserves and ovarian responses between groups were similar, as were the proportions of mature oocytes, fertilised oocytes, high-quality embryos and available blastocysts. No significant differences were found in terms of clinical pregnancy rate or miscarriage rate. Although theoretically, human oocytes and embryos are at a high risk of viral damage, much about the crisis, including the impact on fertility, remains unidentified, and evidence of the direct impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on gametes and embryos is lacking.

Future of COVID-19: vaccine and female reproductive health

During the post-pandemic era, vaccinations against COVID-19 seem to be general and essential, and the potential impact of vaccines on human fertility and offspring health deserves our concern and attention. A study collected and analysed data from online search queries in Google regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility after the announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorisation by the Food and Drug Administration of the USA. Interestingly, they found a dramatic increase ranging from more than 200% to nearly 3000% in fertility-related search volume, demonstrating an increasing concern about the side effects of vaccines on human fertility among the general public (Ref. Reference Diaz108). According to the vaccine platform, the existing vaccines against COVID-19 are mainly categorised into three types: mRNA vaccines, replication-defective live viral vectors and recombinant subunit-adjuvanted protein vaccines (Ref. Reference Kamidani109). BNT162b2, a Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine with an efficacy of 95%, contains mRNA coding viral S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 that enter cells to mediate immune responses by antibody production (Ref. Reference Polack110). An animal study has investigated the effects of BNT162b2 on female fertility and offspring development in rats. Female fertility evaluation, embryonic development and neonatal development were similar, and no adverse effects of BNT162b2 were detected between the control group and the vaccine group (Ref. Reference Bowman111). Similarly, a recent clinical self-controlled study included 36 couples undergoing ART treatments before and after BNT162b2 administration and compared patients' performance and ovarian reserve in Israel, and no differences were observed in terms of ovarian response, stimulation processes or embryological parameters (Ref. Reference Orvieto112). Moreover, another study showed a similar follicular quality in BNT162b2-vaccinated and -unvaccinated women (Ref. Reference Chandi and Jain113). Furthermore, there is a lack of data on other types of COVID-19 vaccines on fertility, despite the fertility safety of BNT162b2 investigated by the current studies. Future studies with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up periods are required to validate the existing results.

Considering the potential placental damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, vaccine safety in pregnancy is a question of debate. Notably, none of the current vaccine clinical trials were conducted on pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the data of a large survey on the safety of the BNT162b2 vaccine in March 2021 (Ref. Reference Chandi and Jain113). Among 55 million individuals who received the vaccination in the United States, approximately 30 000 became pregnant by February 2021. A total of 1815 gravidas receiving BNT162b2 vaccines were enrolled in the vaccine safety survey. No increased risk of obstetric complications, such as miscarriages and preterm birth, was reported in these enrolled participants. Moreover, no pregnancy-related adverse effects were reported in the majority of these gravidas. Thus, in the updated report, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended the COVID-19 vaccine to gravidas (Ref. Reference Chandi and Jain113). Recently, a randomised controlled trial was registered to investigate and evaluate vaccine safety in gravidas, and more trials on pregnant women should be carried out (Ref. Reference Male114).

In addition, the concern about whether neonates can benefit from the vaccination of mothers through placental antibody transfer is increasing. Neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) mediates the circulating IgG transport from mothers to offspring across the placenta, and placental IgG transfer exhibits an upward trend throughout gestation (Refs Reference Fouda115, Reference Leach116). Moreover, increased levels of FcRn and FCGR3 in the placenta induce selective transfer of antibodies, especially IgG1 antibodies, the most promising subclass of IgG antibodies in immunotherapy (Refs Reference Mahan117, Reference Martinez118). A recent study reported that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces an increase in competitive IgG and FCGR3A levels in the placenta, greatly compromising placental antibody transfer, compared with influenza and pertussis, especially in the third trimester (Ref. Reference Atyeo119). Furthermore, the modification patterns of transferred SARS-CoV-2 antibodies differ from other diseases, exhibiting lower levels of antibodies with galactosylated modification in neonates (Ref. Reference Atyeo119), which has certain guiding significance for the optimisation of placental antibody transfer. Considering a greater impairment of placental antibody transfer in the third trimester, the second trimester is recommended for vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. However, the effective and safe dosage and timing of vaccination during pregnancy need more evaluation.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 crisis has greatly affected daily life and changed our attitudes towards life. It is likely to persist for years, and we have to bear it and learn how to coexist with the pandemic. The reproductive system, as a potential target, is at a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The subsequent effects on female fertility and reproductive health care cannot be ignored and warrant further investigation. In this review, female reproduction issues related to the pandemic have been addressed, including ovarian function, pregnancy and assisted reproductive care, and several studies have provided evidence that COVID-19 might affect female fertility and interfere with ART procedures. Moreover, the side effects of vaccines against the virus on ovarian reserve and pregnancy have not yet been investigated, and studies with larger sample sizes should be conducted to ensure the safety of these vaccines. In the future, the female fertility after SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination needs more attention because of the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Acknowledgements

We express heartfelt gratitude to our colleagues in Reproductive Medicine Center, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Financial support

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81601348) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2021yjsCXCY095) and the National Key Research and Development Project (2018YFC1002103).

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Footnotes

*

Bo Zhang and Lei Jin contributed equally.

References

Hu, B et al. (2021) Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Nature Reviews. Microbiology 19, 141154.10.1038/s41579-020-00459-7CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Matta, S et al. (2020) Morbidity and mortality trends of COVID 19 in top 10 countries. The Indian Journal of Tuberculosis 67, S167S172.10.1016/j.ijtb.2020.09.031CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zhang, Y et al. (2020) New understanding of the damage of SARS-CoV-2 infection outside the respiratory system. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie 127, 110195.10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110195CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Salian, V et al. (2021) COVID-19 transmission, current treatment, and future therapeutic strategies. Molecular Pharmaceutics 18, 754771.10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.0c00608CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zou, X et al. (2020) Single-cell RNA-Seq data analysis on the receptor ACE2 expression reveals the potential risk of different human organs vulnerable to 2019-nCoV infection. Frontiers of Medicine 14, 185192.10.1007/s11684-020-0754-0CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Farouk, S et al. (2020) COVID-19 and the kidney: what we think we know so far and what we don't. Journal of Nephrology 33, 12131218.10.1007/s40620-020-00789-yCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bader, F et al. (2021) Heart failure and COVID-19. Heart Failure Reviews 26, 110.10.1007/s10741-020-10008-2CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Qian, J et al. (2020) Age-dependent gender differences in COVID-19 in mainland China: comparative study. Clinical Infectious Diseases 71, 24882494.Google ScholarPubMed
Donoghue, M et al. (2000) A novel angiotensin-converting enzyme-related carboxypeptidase (ACE2) converts angiotensin I to angiotensin 1–9. Circulation Research 87, E19.10.1161/01.RES.87.5.e1CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vickers, C et al. (2002) Hydrolysis of biological peptides by human angiotensin-converting enzyme-related carboxypeptidase. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 277, 1483814843.10.1074/jbc.M200581200CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Simões, E, Silva, A and Teixeira, M (2016) Ace inhibition, ACE2 and angiotensin-(1–7) axis in kidney and cardiac inflammation and fibrosis. Pharmacological Research 107, 154162.10.1016/j.phrs.2016.03.018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campbell-Boswell, M and Robertson, A (1981) Effects of angiotensin II and vasopressin on human smooth muscle cells in vitro. Experimental and Molecular Pathology 35, 265276.10.1016/0014-4800(81)90066-6CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ray, P et al. (1991) Angiotensin II receptor-mediated proliferation of cultured human fetal mesangial cells. Kidney International 40, 764771.10.1038/ki.1991.273CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hiruma, Y et al. (1997) Angiotensin II stimulates the proliferation of osteoblast-rich populations of cells from rat calvariae. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 230, 176178.10.1006/bbrc.1996.5914CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bataller, R et al. (2000) Angiotensin II induces contraction and proliferation of human hepatic stellate cells. Gastroenterology 118, 11491156.10.1016/S0016-5085(00)70368-4CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Oliveira, M et al. (1999) Synergistic effect of angiotensin-(1–7) on bradykinin arteriolar dilation in vivo. Peptides 20, 11951201.10.1016/S0196-9781(99)00123-0CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brosnihan, K et al. (1998) Angiotensin-(1–7): a novel vasodilator of the coronary circulation. Biological Research 31, 227234.Google ScholarPubMed
Iwata, M et al. (2005) Angiotensin-(1–7) binds to specific receptors on cardiac fibroblasts to initiate antifibrotic and antitrophic effects. American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology 289, H23562363.10.1152/ajpheart.00317.2005CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Liu, C et al. (2012) Angiotensin-(1–7) suppresses oxidative stress and improves glucose uptake via Mas receptor in adipocytes. Acta Diabetologica 49, 291299.10.1007/s00592-011-0348-zCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ferreira, A et al. (2001) Angiotensin-(1–7): cardioprotective effect in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex.: 1979) 38, 665668.10.1161/01.HYP.38.3.665CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Giani, J et al. (2009) Chronic infusion of angiotensin-(1–7) improves insulin resistance and hypertension induced by a high-fructose diet in rats. American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 296, E262271.10.1152/ajpendo.90678.2008CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ashour, H et al. (2020) Insights into the recent 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in light of past human coronavirus outbreaks. Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland) 9, 186.Google ScholarPubMed
Wang, Y et al. (2020) Coronaviruses: an updated overview of their replication and pathogenesis. Methods in Molecular Biology 2203, 129.10.1007/978-1-0716-0900-2_1CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sriram, K and Insel, P (2020) A hypothesis for pathobiology and treatment of COVID-19: the centrality of ACE1/ACE2 imbalance. British Journal of Pharmacology 177, 48254844.10.1111/bph.15082CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Simmons, G et al. (2004) Characterization of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) spike glycoprotein-mediated viral entry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101, 42404245.10.1073/pnas.0306446101CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
He, Y et al. (2006) Identification and characterization of novel neutralizing epitopes in the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV spike protein: revealing the critical antigenic determinants in inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine. Vaccine 24, 54985508.10.1016/j.vaccine.2006.04.054CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hoffmann, M et al. (2020) SARS-CoV-2 cell entry depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and is blocked by a clinically proven protease inhibitor. Cell 181, 271280, e278.10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.052CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boopathi, S et al. (2021) Novel 2019 coronavirus structure, mechanism of action, antiviral drug promises and rule out against its treatment. Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics 39, 34093418.Google ScholarPubMed
Jiang, S et al. (2020) Neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and other human coronaviruses. Trends in Immunology 41, 355359.10.1016/j.it.2020.03.007CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Verdecchia, P et al. (2020) The pivotal link between ACE2 deficiency and SARS-CoV-2 infection. European Journal of Internal Medicine 76, 1420.10.1016/j.ejim.2020.04.037CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kuba, K et al. (2005) A crucial role of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in SARS coronavirus-induced lung injury. Nature Medicine 11, 875879.10.1038/nm1267CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pereira, V et al. (2009) Gonadotropin stimulation increases the expression of angiotensin-(1–7) and Mas receptor in the rat ovary. Reproductive Sciences 16, 11651174.10.1177/1933719109343309CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tonellotto dos Santos, J et al. (2012) Molecular characterization and regulation of the angiotensin-converting enzyme type 2/angiotensin-(1–7)/Mas receptor axis during the ovulation process in cattle. Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System: JRAAS 13, 9198.10.1177/1470320311417273CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reis, F et al. (2011) Angiotensin-(1–7), its receptor mas, and the angiotensin-converting enzyme type 2 are expressed in the human ovary. Fertility and Sterility 95, 176181.10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.06.060CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barreta, M et al. (2015) The components of the angiotensin-(1–7) system are differentially expressed during follicular wave in cattle. Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System: JRAAS 16, 275283.10.1177/1470320313491996CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lee, W et al. (2021) Potential effects of COVID-19 on reproductive systems and fertility; assisted reproductive technology guidelines and considerations: a review. Hong Kong Medical Journal = Xianggang yi xue za zhi 27, 118126.Google ScholarPubMed
Jing, Y et al. (2020) Potential influence of COVID-19/ACE2 on the female reproductive system. Molecular Human Reproduction 26, 367373.10.1093/molehr/gaaa030CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cheng, G et al. (2021) Suggestions on cleavage embryo and blastocyst vitrification/transfer based on expression profile of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in current COVID-19 pandemic. Molecular Reproduction and Development 88, 211216.10.1002/mrd.23456CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, W et al. (2020) ACE2 SARS-CoV-2 entry factors: and are expressed in peri-implantation embryos and the maternal-fetal interface. Engineering (Beijing, China) 6, 11621169.Google ScholarPubMed
Miyabayashi, K et al. (2005) Changes of mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, angiopoietins and their receptors during the periovulatory period in eCG/hCG-treated immature female rats. Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Comparative Experimental Biology 303, 590597.10.1002/jez.a.188CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shuttleworth, G et al. (2002) In vitro development of pig preantral follicles cultured in a serum-free medium and the effect of angiotensin II. Reproduction (Cambridge, England) 123, 807818.10.1530/rep.0.1230807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferreira, R et al. (2011) Angiotensin II signaling promotes follicle growth and dominance in cattle. Endocrinology 152, 49574965.10.1210/en.2011-1146CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Yoshimura, Y et al. (1992) Angiotensin II directly induces follicle rupture and oocyte maturation in the rabbit. FEBS Letters 307, 305308.10.1016/0014-5793(92)80701-HCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Obermüller, N et al. (2004) Immunohistochemical and mRNA localization of the angiotensin II receptor subtype 2 (AT2) in follicular granulosa cells of the rat ovary. The Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 52, 545548.10.1177/002215540405200413CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Xu, F and Stouffer, R (2005) Local delivery of angiopoietin-2 into the preovulatory follicle terminates the menstrual cycle in rhesus monkeys. Biology of Reproduction 72, 13521358.10.1095/biolreprod.104.037143CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sugino, N et al. (2005) Angiogenesis in the human corpus luteum: changes in expression of angiopoietins in the corpus luteum throughout the menstrual cycle and in early pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 90, 61416148.10.1210/jc.2005-0643CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Costa, A et al. (2003) Angiotensin-(1–7): a novel peptide in the ovary. Endocrinology 144, 19421948.10.1210/en.2002-220787CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Viana, G et al. (2011) Angiotensin-(1–7) induces ovulation and steroidogenesis in perfused rabbit ovaries. Experimental Physiology 96, 957965.10.1113/expphysiol.2011.058453CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Honorato-Sampaio, K et al. (2012) Evidence that angiotensin-(1–7) is an intermediate of gonadotrophin-induced oocyte maturation in the rat preovulatory follicle. Experimental Physiology 97, 642650.10.1113/expphysiol.2011.061960CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cavallo, I et al. (2017) Angiotensin-(1–7) in human follicular fluid correlates with oocyte maturation. Human Reproduction 32, 13181324.10.1093/humrep/dex072CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pan, P et al. (2013) Angiotensin-converting enzymes play a dominant role in fertility. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14, 2107121086.10.3390/ijms141021071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vaz-Silva, J et al. (2009) The vasoactive peptide angiotensin-(1–7), its receptor mas and the angiotensin-converting enzyme type 2 are expressed in the human endometrium. Reproductive Sciences 16, 247256.10.1177/1933719108327593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brosnihan, K et al. (2012) Decidualized pseudopregnant rat uterus shows marked reduction in Ang II and Ang-(1–7) levels. Placenta 33, 1723.10.1016/j.placenta.2011.10.016CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Abhari, S and Kawwass, J (2020) Endometrial susceptibility to SARS CoV-2: explained by gene expression across the menstrual cycle? Fertility and Sterility 114, 255256.10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.06.046CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Herr, D et al. (2013) Local renin-angiotensin system in the reproductive system. Frontiers in Endocrinology 4, 150.10.3389/fendo.2013.00150CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vinson, G et al. (1997) Tissue renin-angiotensin systems and reproduction. Human Reproduction 12, 651662.10.1093/humrep/12.4.651CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Henarejos-Castillo, I et al. (2020) SARS-CoV-2 infection risk assessment in the endometrium: viral infection-related gene expression across the menstrual cycle. Fertility and Sterility 114, 223232.10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.06.026CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ahmed, A et al. (1995) Localization of the angiotensin II and its receptor subtype expression in human endometrium and identification of a novel high-affinity angiotensin II binding site. The Journal of Clinical Investigation 96, 848857.10.1172/JCI118131CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Li, X and Ahmed, A (1996) Dual role of angiotensin II in the human endometrium. Human Reproduction Suppl 2, 95108.10.1093/humrep/11.suppl_2.95CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Li, X and Ahmed, A (1997) Compartmentalization and cyclic variation of immunoreactivity of renin and angiotensin converting enzyme in human endometrium throughout the menstrual cycle. Human Reproduction 12, 28042809.10.1093/humrep/12.12.2804CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Deliu, E et al. (2011) Intracellular angiotensin II activates rat myometrium. American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 301, C559565.10.1152/ajpcell.00123.2011CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Li, X and Ahmed, A (1996) Expression of angiotensin II and its receptor subtypes in endometrial hyperplasia: a possible role in dysfunctional menstruation. Laboratory Investigation; A Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology 75, 137145.Google ScholarPubMed
Watanabe, Y et al. (2003) Adipocyte-derived leucine aminopeptidase suppresses angiogenesis in human endometrial carcinoma via renin-angiotensin system. Clinical Cancer Research 9, 64976503.Google ScholarPubMed
Delforce, S et al. (2017) Expression of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) components in endometrial cancer. Endocrine Connections 6, 919.10.1530/EC-16-0082CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ito, M et al. (2002) Possible activation of the renin-angiotensin system in the feto-placental unit in preeclampsia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 87, 18711878.10.1210/jcem.87.4.8422CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pan, N et al. (2013) Expression of the renin-angiotensin system in a human placental cell line. Clinical Medicine & Research 11, 16.10.3121/cmr.2012.1094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anton, L and Brosnihan, K (2008) Systemic and uteroplacental renin–angiotensin system in normal and pre-eclamptic pregnancies. Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease 2, 349362.10.1177/1753944708094529CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Valdés, G et al. (2006) Distribution of angiotensin-(1–7) and ACE2 in human placentas of normal and pathological pregnancies. Placenta 27, 200207.10.1016/j.placenta.2005.02.015CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Neves, L et al. (2008) ACE2 and Ang-(1–7) in the rat uterus during early and late gestation. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 294, R151161.10.1152/ajpregu.00514.2007CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vaswani, K et al. (2015) The rat placental renin-angiotensin system – a gestational gene expression study. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology: RB&E 13, 89.10.1186/s12958-015-0088-yCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pringle, K et al. (2011) The expression and localization of the human placental prorenin/renin-angiotensin system throughout pregnancy: roles in trophoblast invasion and angiogenesis? Placenta 32, 956962.10.1016/j.placenta.2011.09.020CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Petit, A et al. (1996) Expression of angiotensin II type-I receptor and phospholipase c-linked g alpha q/11 protein in the human placenta. Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation 3, 316321.Google ScholarPubMed
Ghadhanfar, E et al. (2017) The role of ACE2, angiotensin-(1–7) and Mas1 receptor axis in glucocorticoid-induced intrauterine growth restriction. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology: RB&E 15, 97.10.1186/s12958-017-0316-8CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hering, L et al. (2010) Effects of circulating and local uteroplacental angiotensin II in rat pregnancy. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex.: 1979) 56, 311318.10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.150961CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Anton, L et al. (2009) The uterine placental bed renin-angiotensin system in normal and preeclamptic pregnancy. Endocrinology 150, 43164325.10.1210/en.2009-0076CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shibata, E et al. (2006) Angiotensin II decreases system a amino acid transporter activity in human placental villous fragments through AT1 receptor activation. American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 291, E10091016.10.1152/ajpendo.00134.2006CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brosnihan, K et al. (2004) Enhanced expression of Ang-(1–7) during pregnancy. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas 37, 12551262.10.1590/S0100-879X2004000800017CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bharadwaj, M et al. (2011) Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 deficiency is associated with impaired gestational weight gain and fetal growth restriction. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex.: 1979) 58, 852858.10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.179358CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Yamaleyeva, L et al. (2015) Uterine artery dysfunction in pregnant ACE2 knockout mice is associated with placental hypoxia and reduced umbilical blood flow velocity. American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 309, E8494.10.1152/ajpendo.00596.2014CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, Y et al. (2014) Fetal and maternal angiotensin (1–7) are associated with preterm birth. Journal of Hypertension 32, 18331841.10.1097/HJH.0000000000000251CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Irving, R et al. (2000) Adult cardiovascular risk factors in premature babies. Lancet (London, England) 355, 21352136.10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02384-9CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bessa, A et al. (2019) Stimulation of the ACE2/Ang-(1–7)/mas axis in hypertensive pregnant rats attenuates cardiovascular dysfunction in adult male offspring. Hypertension Research 42, 18831893.10.1038/s41440-019-0321-8CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Moolhuijsen, L and Visser, J (2020) Anti-Müllerian hormone and ovarian reserve: update on assessing ovarian function. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 105, 33613373.10.1210/clinem/dgaa513CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Younis, J et al. (2020) Does an association exist between menstrual cycle length within the normal range and ovarian reserve biomarkers during the reproductive years? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Human Reproduction Update 26, 904928.10.1093/humupd/dmaa013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, K et al. (2021) Analysis of sex hormones and menstruation in COVID-19 women of child-bearing age. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 42, 260267.10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.09.020CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ding, T et al. (2021) Potential influence of menstrual status and sex hormones on female severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection: a cross-sectional multicenter study in Wuhan, China. Clinical Infectious Diseases 72, e240e248.10.1093/cid/ciaa1022CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ding, T et al. (2021) Analysis of ovarian injury associated with COVID-19 disease in reproductive-aged women in Wuhan, China: an observational study. Frontiers in Medicine 8, 635255.10.3389/fmed.2021.635255CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Virant-Klun, I and Strle, F (2021) Human oocytes express both ACE2 and BSG genes and corresponding proteins: is SARS-CoV-2 infection possible? Stem Cell Reviews and Reports 17, 278284.10.1007/s12015-020-10101-xCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Essahib, W et al. (2020) SARS-CoV-2 host receptors ACE2 and CD147 (BSG) are present on human oocytes and blastocysts. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 37, 26572660.10.1007/s10815-020-01952-xCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, H et al. (2020) Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records. Lancet (London, England) 395, 809815.10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30360-3CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, L et al. (2020) Clinical characteristics of pregnant women with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. The New England Journal of Medicine 382, e100.10.1056/NEJMc2009226CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Allotey, J et al. (2020) Clinical manifestations, risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnancy: living systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.) 370, m3320.Google ScholarPubMed
Engels Calvo, V et al. (2021) Perinatal outcomes of pregnancies resulting from assisted reproduction technology in SARS-CoV-2-infected women: a prospective observational study. Fertility and Sterility 116, 731740.10.1016/j.fertnstert.2021.04.005CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ronco, C et al. (2020) Management of acute kidney injury in patients with COVID-19. The Lancet. Respiratory Medicine 8, 738742.10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30229-0CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nadim, M et al. (2020) COVID-19-associated acute kidney injury: consensus report of the 25th acute disease quality initiative (ADQI) workgroup. Nature Reviews. Nephrology 16, 747764.10.1038/s41581-020-00356-5CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gabarre, P et al. (2020) Acute kidney injury in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Intensive Care Medicine 46, 13391348.10.1007/s00134-020-06153-9CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pacciarini, F et al. (2008) Persistent replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in human tubular kidney cells selects for adaptive mutations in the membrane protein. Journal of Virology 82, 51375144.10.1128/JVI.00096-08CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brosnihan, K et al. (2003) Enhanced renal immunocytochemical expression of Ang-(1–7) and ACE2 during pregnancy. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex.: 1979) 42, 749753.10.1161/01.HYP.0000085220.53285.11CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zeng, L et al. (2020) Neonatal early-onset infection with SARS-CoV-2 in 33 neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 in Wuhan, china. JAMA Pediatrics 174, 722725.10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.0878CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Egloff, C et al. (2020) Evidence and possible mechanisms of rare maternal-fetal transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Journal of Clinical Virology 128, 104447.10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104447CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dong, L et al. (2020) Possible vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from an infected mother to her newborn. JAMA 323, 18461848.Google ScholarPubMed
Kotlyar, A et al. (2021) Vertical transmission of coronavirus disease 2019: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 224, 3553, e33.10.1016/j.ajog.2020.07.049CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mahyuddin, A et al. (2020) Mechanisms and evidence of vertical transmission of infections in pregnancy including SARS-CoV-2s. Prenatal Diagnosis 40, 16551670.10.1002/pd.5765CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Basha, S et al. (2014) Immune responses in neonates. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology 10, 11711184.10.1586/1744666X.2014.942288CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Salone, L et al. (2013) Breastfeeding: an overview of oral and general health benefits. Journal of the American Dental Association (1939) 144, 143151.10.14219/jada.archive.2013.0093CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Baud, D et al. (2020) COVID-19 in pregnant women – authors’ reply. The Lancet. Infectious Diseases 20, 654.10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30192-4CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wang, M et al. (2021) Investigating the impact of asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection on female fertility and in vitro fertilization outcomes: a retrospective cohort study. EClinicalMedicine 38, 101013.10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101013CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Diaz, P et al. (2021) COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy linked to increased internet search queries for side effects on fertility potential in the initial rollout phase following emergency use authorization. Andrologia, e14156.Google ScholarPubMed
Kamidani, S et al. (2021) COVID-19 vaccine development: a pediatric perspective. Current Opinion in Pediatrics 33, 144151.10.1097/MOP.0000000000000978CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Polack, FP et al. (2020) Safety and efficacy of the BNT162B2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine 383, 26032615.10.1056/NEJMoa2034577CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bowman, C et al. (2021) Lack of effects on female fertility and prenatal and postnatal offspring development in rats with BNT162B2, a mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine. Reproductive Toxicology 103, 2835.10.1016/j.reprotox.2021.05.007CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Orvieto, R et al. (2021) Does mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine influence patients’ performance during IVF-ET cycle? Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology: RB&E 19, 69.10.1186/s12958-021-00757-6CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chandi, A and Jain, N (2021) State of art in the COVID-19 era and consequences on human reproductive system. Biology of Reproduction 105, 808821.10.1093/biolre/ioab122CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Male, V (2021) Are COVID-19 vaccines safe in pregnancy? Nature Reviews. Immunology 21, 200201.10.1038/s41577-021-00525-yCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fouda, GG et al. (2018) The impact of IgG transplacental transfer on early life immunity. ImmunoHorizons 2, 1425.10.4049/immunohorizons.1700057CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Leach, JL et al. (1996) Isolation from human placenta of the IgG transporter, FcRn, and localization to the syncytiotrophoblast: implications for maternal-fetal antibody transport. Journal of Immunology 157, 33173322.Google ScholarPubMed
Mahan, AE et al. (2016) Antigen-specific antibody glycosylation is regulated via vaccination. PLoS Pathogens 12, e1005456.10.1371/journal.ppat.1005456CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Martinez, DR et al. (2019) Fc characteristics mediate selective placental transfer of IgG in HIV-infected women. Cell 178, 190201, e111.10.1016/j.cell.2019.05.046CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Atyeo, C et al. (2021) Compromised SARS-CoV-2-specific placental antibody transfer. Cell 184, 628642, e610.10.1016/j.cell.2020.12.027CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Figure 0

Fig. 1. Components of RAS and its role in female ovarian function. Ang I, angiotensin I; Ang II, angiotensin II; ACE, angiotensin-converting enzyme; Ang-(1-9), angiotensin-(1–9); Ang-(1-7), angiotensin-(1–7); AT1, angiotensin II type 1; AT2, angiotensin II type 2; RAS, renin-angiotensin system.

You have Access Open access

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Female fertility under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Female fertility under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Female fertility under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *