Couples who want to get pregnant may have more reasons to prevent Covid-19 infection.
A new study that looked at sperm quality in Belgians who developed symptoms of coronavirus, found that Covid-19 infection could affect fertility weeks after the virus recovers.
Sperm samples from 35 men taken within one month after recovery showed a 60% decrease in their ability to move and 37% of sperm count.
The study, published Monday in the journal Fertility and Sterility, took samples from 120 men with an average age of 35 and an average of 52 days after their Covid-19 symptoms disappeared.
But research warns: “Couples who want to become pregnant should be warned that sperm quality after exposure to COVID may be poor.”
“Semen is not infected with SARS-CoV-2 for 1 week or more after exposure to Covid-19,” the researchers found.
“However, couples who want to become pregnant should be warned that sperm quality after exposure to Covid-19 can be of poor quality.”
Researchers, whose work has not been evaluated by their peers, estimate that sperm levels should return to normal after three months.
The experts are working on a follow-up study to see if the damage to the sperm can be permanent in a small number of males.
Scientists around the world are still waiting for data on whether the newer, more infectious alternative to Omicron causes a smaller or worse disease than Delta.
How Does COVID Affect Semen?
Some viruses like the flu are already known to damage sperm.
In the case of the flu, the high body temperature caused by the flu is to blame.
But in the case of Covid-19, the researchers did not find a link between the presence or severity of the fever and the quality of the sperm.
Instead, they believe the cause may be related to the immune response to the virus.
Using the tests they performed, the researchers said that high levels of specific Covid-19 antibodies in patients’ blood serum, which caused temporary sperm dysfunction, were more protective than those caused by the flu.
They found, however, that during peak infections, the virus could “break” the barrier of blood tests, this is also supported by an early study from Wuhan in China where PCR tests on semen samples from Covid-infected patients were tested. having the virus. for viruses.