Research: Sperm may be of poorer quality for months after Covid-19 infection.
Couples who want to have a child, according to the research, are likely to face difficulties, rather temporary, due to the lower number of sperm and their lower mobility.
The “poor quality” of sperm can last for several months
The Sperm quality may be affected for a few months after recovery from Covid-19 infection, according to a small scientific study. The sperm itself did not appear to contain and therefore transmit the coronavirus, but couples who want to have a child, according to the research, will probably face difficulties, albeit temporary, due to the lower number of sperm and their lower mobility.
The researchers, led by Dr. Gilbert Doders of Antwerp University Hospital, who published the study in the journal Fertility & Sterilitytook sperm samples from 35 men, according to Reuters, on average 52 days after showing no symptoms of Covid-19 infection.
It found that of the men who sampled less than a month after recovering from Covid-19, 60% had reduced sperm motility and 37% had reduced numbers.
Of the men who had a sperm sample one to two months after retrieval, 37% had reduced sperm motility and 29% had reduced sperm count. Of the men who sampled after at least two months of recovery, 28% had reduced sperm motility and 6% had reduced numbers.
The coronavirus is not transmitted through semen.
The severity of previous Covid-19 infection did not appear to be associated with the degree of reduction in sperm quality. The coronavirus was not detected in the semen of any of the men in the study, either soon after or long after recovery.
The researchers noted that “couples wishing to become pregnant should be warned that sperm quality after Covid-19 infection may not be the best possible“.
They estimated that in most men sperm quality would be restored approximately three months after recovery.but said more studies were needed to confirm this, as well as to determine whether sperm might be more permanently damaged in a minority of men.
- Guo TH, Sang MY, Bai S, Ma H, Wan YY, Jiang XH, Zhang YW, Xu B, Chen H, Zheng XY, Luo SH Xie, XF, Gong, CJ, Weng, JP, & Shi, QH (2021). Semen parameters in men recovered from COVID-19. Asian journal of andrology, 23(5), 479–483. https://doi.org/10.4103/aja.aja_31_21