Here we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on male fertility with Dr. Hotaling of Utah Men’s Health and editor at Fertility & Sterility.
We address what is known (and what is still unknown) in regards to three major questions:
- Does the virus show up in semen?
- What are the long-term effects on male reproductive health?
- What are the effects on the offspring?
As you’ll see in our discussion, there are plenty of unknowns still, and very little can be said with complete certainty, however the research thus far has been largely reassuring.
A few key points to keep in mind:
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, waiting until after you have recovered from infection prior to continuing fertility treatments seems to be the safe approach to minimize the chance that the virus would be present in the semen.
With telemedicine on the rise, you may be asked to do a home semen analysis. There are many companies to choose from, however some do not report crucial parameters like motility or morphology. Be sure to select a company that provides the results your doctor is looking for.
While the research has been reassuring thus far, we won’t really know the effect of COVID-19 infection for either parent until further longitudinal studies are completed. In the meantime, it’s prudent to take steps to avoid exposure if you are trying to conceive.