The study was carried out by the Danish sperm and egg bank Cryos International – USA based in Orlando, Florida USA. The study was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board and examined the semen samples from men whose average age was 32 years old. PCR tests were carried out on the ejaculates of men who had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19 within 1-28 days of having a positive test. The average time between the first positive PCR-test for COVID-19 and the analysis of the ejaculate was six days.
Great news for couples and singles going through fertility treatment
This is an interesting study in relation to COVID-19 in a wider perspective and of course also reassuring for the many people going through fertility treatment all over the world during the pandemic.
“We hoped that there would be no contamination risk connected to semen, so it is reassuring to have a clear indication that this is now verified,” said Corey Burke, Tissue Bank Director at Cryos. “Cryos has in the COVID-19 period closed down for new donors because of the uncertainty of the risk of contamination, but now have opened again based on the results of this new study.”
In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic fertility treatments were put on pause all over the world as a precaution. “Everyone waited until there could be more information known about this new virus,” said Burke.
With our knowledge from this study, we feel people should be free from fear and know that there is zero chance of contamination from the COVID-19 virus in semen being used in connection to fertility treatments.Corey BurkeTissue Bank Director at Cryos
The study was done in collaboration with two urologists from Orlando, Dr. Patel and Dr. Parekattil, together with Orlando reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Trolice and Scott Michael, Ph.D. Department of Biological Sciences with technologist Lauren Paul – both from Florida Gulf Coast University, in Fort Meyers.
The study has been published in the esteemed Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. You can see the full study via the button below.
Watch our webinar below with the Cryos scientific team represented by Anne-Bine Skytte, Saghar Kasiri, and Corey Burke. In the webinar, the three summarize the study and its findings.
Danish study also investigates the semen quality
In addition to the concern about whether the COVID-19 virus could be present in semen, the scientists have been interested in learning if the virus has any long-term effects on semen quality. That question might also be answered very soon.
In collaboration with the Danish Hvidovre Hospital and CooperSurgical, Cryos International is participating in a new study that is looking at the semen quality of men who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection.
“Several studies have pointed to an increased risk for decreased semen quality after a COVID-19 diagnosis. But these studies have been met with criticism from experts due to the small sample size and lack of transparency. Therefore, it is important that we investigate if the semen quality is affected by the virus both in the short and long term,” Burke commented.
Does the disease course matter?
This new study plans to take the participants in the study and have them provide a series of blood and semen samples, together with several PCR-tests, over a period of 6 months after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
The intention is to discover whether the severity of the disease course can influence semen quality.
It is anticipated that 50 Danish men aged between 18 and 60 years old will be recruited to the study. The results will be ready and reported by the autumn of 2021.
Professor Allan Pacey from the University of Sheffield (UK) and the chairman of the Cryos External Scientific Advisory Committee said “These are two very important studies which will help us understand the impact of COVID-19 on the male reproductive system. The more we are able to learn about this virus, the better it will be for reproductive medicine so we can help men and women with their plans to start a family in the safest way possible”.