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Does COVID-19 transmit through sperm?

By Cryos | 3/5/2021
Couple kissing with masks

A new study carried out by Cryos’ team of scientists suggests that COVID-19 does not transmit through sperm. The study shows that men do not risk to transmit the virus to their sexual partner. Moreover, couples who use donor sperm for their fertility treatment do not risk infection.

People have questioned whether COVID-19 transmits through sperm – and with good reason. We have to take every precaution to avoid transmitting the virus further. At the same time, many people wish to be able to continue their fertility treatment safely despite the pandemic. Therefore, Cryos decided to study the connection between sperm and the virus. 
 
The study was carried out in 2020 by Cryos International’s department in the USA and has been approved by the Western Institutional Review Board.  
 
During the study, men aged 24-57 delivered sperm samples for the study after being diagnosed with Coronavirus. Hereafter, scientists studied the men’s semen. They found that COVID-19 was not present in any of the examined samples.   

Donor sperm can be used safely during COVID-19 

During the pandemic, many fertility treatments have been postponed or cancelled due to the uncertainness of transmission of the virus. 
 
This new study brings great news to both couples having fertility treatment with partner sperm, but also singles and couples using donor sperm for their treatment.  
 
In the unlikely event that a donor should have carried the Coronavirus at the time of the donation, it would still be safe to use sperm for fertility treatment. There would be no risk of transmitting the virus to the woman according to this new study. 

Cryos' scientists have studied whether COVID-19 transmits through sperm

Does COVID-19 affect sperm quality? 

Another question that has been raised recently is whether the Coronavirus affects men’s sperm motility and quality. It is well known that a period of illness, especially with fever, can affect men’s sperm cell’s negatively for some time. But does the new pandemic virus have any long term effect on men’s reproduction?  
 
Previous studies have suggested that COVID-19 does affect sperm quality. However, experts have criticized the studies for being too small and not being transparent enough. 
 
Therefore, Cryos’ scientists are currently working on a new study in collaboration with the Danish Hvidovre Hospital and CooperSurgical on COVID-19 and the potential long term effect on sperm quality. The scientists intend to examine sperm samples from a large group of men who have been tested positive for the virus. 
 
At Cryos, we look forward to presenting the study’s results in autumn 2021. 
 
You can read how Cryos handles the COVID-19 situation here