Objective: Although sex-disaggregated data for COVID-19 show equal numbers of cases between men and women, there seem to be sex differences in mortality rate and vulnerability to the disease: more men than women are dying. Methods: We have explored the potential role of estrogens in this COVID-19 gendered impact. Results: Estrogens stimulate the humoral response to viral infections, while testosterone and progesterone give an immune suppression of both innate and cell-mediated immune responses. We hypothesise that estrogens, in particular estradiol but also synthetic estrogen such as ethinylestradiol, could protect women from the most serious complications of COVID-19. The use of medications that keep hormonal levels high and stable, such as combined hormonal contraceptive, could therefore play a protective role. These potential benefits overtake the thrombotic risk in healthy women. As stated by the World Health Organization, all modern methods of contraception were safe to use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The gendered impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19): do estrogens play a role? / Grandi, G.; Facchinetti, F.; Bitzer, J.. - In: THE EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CONTRACEPTION AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE. - ISSN 1362-5187. - 25:3(2020), pp. 233-234. [10.1080/13625187.2020.1766017]