COVID’s effect on sperm:
By: Dr. Eeks
A recent study in Belgium looked at the sperm of 121 men, average age of 34, who had recovered from a validated COVID infection. The goal of the study was to determine COVID’s effect on sperm, if any, since the receptors COVID binds to (ACE-2 receptors) are found in the male reproductive tract. The study was published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility.
What was the Primary Outcome?
The main measurement was sperm quality, as determined by the WHO criteria. DNA damage to sperm cells was assessed as were antibodies against the spike protein on the COVID virus and its nuclear and S1-receptor binding domains.
What did the researchers discover?
COVID RNA was not detected in semen one week after infection, nor was it detected at a later date. In men whose sperm was analyzed 1 month after infection, sperm motility was reduced by 60% and mean sperm count was reduced by 37%. In men whose sperm was analyzed between 1 and 2 months after infection, sperm motility was reduced by 37% and sperm count was reduced by 29%. In men tested 2 months or more after infection, sperm motility was reduced by 28% and sperm count was reduced by 6%.
They did not note a correlation between sperm quality and severity of COVID infection. However there was a strong correlation between titers of COVID antibodies ( against the spike protein and the receptor-binding domain of spike 1) and sperm abnormalities.
What does this mean?
To say anything definitively about COVID’s effect on sperm, you would ideally want the study’s results to be repeated a few times, but what I might gather from this is that it seems unlikely that a biological man could transmit COVID via sex if it occurs more than 1 week after infection. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but it seems unlikely. Also, if the quality of sperm is impaired once someone recovers, keep that in mind if you are having sex with the goal of pregnancy. The good news is that the quality of sperm improves a lot, especially 2 months after recovering from an infection.
You can read the full article here.
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