Despite the need for peer review, the researchers claimed that semen is “not infectious” with COVID-19 and so cannot be spread through sexual contact.
However, the study states that: “Couples with a desire for pregnancy should be warned that sperm quality after COVID infection can be suboptimal.
“The estimated recovery time is three months, but further follow-up studies are underway to confirm this and to determine if permanent damage occurred in a minority of men.”
Among 34 men who provided semen samples at least two months after recovery, sperm motility was impaired in 28 percent, and sperm counts were low in 6 percent.
The severity of COVID-19 infection was not correlated with sperm characteristics.
The researchers said they “found no differences” in the sperm quality of those who were hospitalised with the virus and those who stayed at home with milder symptoms.
Reductions in sperm motility were evident in 60 percent.