Researchers believe COVID-19 can affect male fertility

Published: November 9, 2020 3:26 PM EST
Updated: November 9, 2020 6:17 PM EST

Researchers are looking into whether the coronavirus can be transmitted during sex or affect male fertility.

A new study found COVID-19 in the testicle tissues of men who had the virus, and some men aren’t taking any chances.

“We are getting concerns and questions from men about – ‘Doc, is this going to affect my future fertility? Am I transmitting this virus if it is present in the semen?'” said Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, director of reproductive urology at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami.

Ramasamy’s patients are doing more than just asking questions – they’re taking action.

“We actually have requests from young men and some older men who actually want to freeze their sperm before they get COVID.”

The worry is spurred on by the doctor’s latest research. His study found the virus along with inflammation inside the testes of men who died from COVID-19.

He also biopsied the testes of a man who only had mild symptoms and recovered. The virus was found there as well.

“I’m fairly certain, just like mumps, about 20 to 30% of men are going to have some sort of affected fertility in their future,” Ramasamy said.

He said the findings also mean COVID-19 could be sexually transmitted. To know for sure, more research is needed.

What he does know is that if men have concerns, “address this sooner rather than later.” Meet with a doctor and start asking questions now.

In another study, Ramasamy examined the sperm of 30 men for up to 60 days after COVID-19 infections. He said 19 of them had very low counts; a follow-up exam showed the numbers bounced back.