(Reuters) – Sperm quality is impaired for months in some men after recovery from COVID-19, researchers have found.
They studied semen samples obtained from 120 Belgian men with an average age of 35 years, at an average of 52 days after COVID-19 symptoms had resolved.
The semen itself was not infectious, the researchers found.
But among 35 men who provided samples within a month after infection, reductions in sperm motility were evident in 60% and sperm counts were reduced in 37%, according to a report in Fertility and Sterility.
Among 51 men tested between one and two months after recovery, 37% had reduced sperm motility and 29% had low sperm counts. And among 34 men who provided semen samples at least two months after recovery, sperm motility was impaired in 28% and sperm counts were low in 6%.
The severity of COVID-19 infection was not correlated with sperm characteristics.
“Couples with a desire for pregnancy should be warned that sperm quality after COVID-19 infection can be suboptimal,” the researchers concluded. “The estimated recovery time is 3 months, but further follow-up studies are under way to confirm this and to determine if permanent damage occurred in a minority of men.”
SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3pgjH9S Fertility and Sterility, online December 20, 2021.
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