Study: COVID-19 can cause male fertility complications; no evidence vaccine does
The coronavirus can live in men’s reproductive organs for seven months after contracting it.
According to a new study by a Florida doctor, this can cause complications for couples hoping to get pregnant.
University of Miami researchers are working to determine how COVID-19 manages to avoid the immune system and live in men’s reproductive organs long after the initial infection.
One thing researchers say they now know for sure is the mRNA vaccines do not have the same impact.
For some men, being a father has always been the plan. Meanwhile, the pandemic is something no one planned for, and those dreams of having a family have become less certain.
“There were studies, including our own, showing that actual COVID was affecting male fertility,” said Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, a reproductive fertility expert at UM Health System. “It can affect the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction. It can affect the testis leading to sperm parameters and fertility being affected.”
Ramasamy says patients, their partners and even parents told him they needed to know if the vaccine could cause the same problems. Until now, he says he didn’t have a definite answer.
“We actually went on to test male fertility in our study of about 45 healthy volunteers,” Ramasamy said. “We evaluated the sperm parameters before and after the COVID vaccine, and we found that none of the men that participated in the study had any decline in sperm parameters. And so therefore, we concluded that the COVID vaccines appeared to be safe for male fertility.”
“Some of the guys’ sperm counts actually increased,” Ramasamy said. “And we didn’t see any decline, even in the men that had a low sperm count.”
Ramasamy’s study only tested the mRNA vaccines — Moderna and Pfizer. But he says the results should be the same for the other types of COVID-19 vaccines.
Similarly, while only adult men were tested, he believes the results also apply to minors.
Ramasamy has an answer for men dreaming of being called dad.
“Get any vaccine that you can get their hands on,” Ramasamy said.