New research has analysed semen samples from 34 men in China roughly a month after being diagnosed with COVID-19. All of the men had relatively mild to moderate cases of coronavirus, according to researchers from the University of Utah Health.
The research, which was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found no traces of COVID-19 in the semen samples and no evidence of it in the men’s testes either.
While this is obviously an extremely small study, it shows the likelihood of transferring COVID-19 through semen is relatively low.
“The fact that in this small, preliminary study that it appears the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t show up in the testes or semen could be an important finding,” said study co-author, Dr. James Hotaling, an associate professor of urology specialising in male fertility at the University of Utah Health.
The researchers from the United States and China launched the study after concerns that COVID-19 could be sexually transmitted, like Ebola and Zika.
In a press release, Hotaling highlighted that those suffering from more severe cases of coronavirus could react differently to the small number of men studied.
“It could be that a man who is critically ill with COVID-19 might have a higher viral load, which could lead to a greater likelihood of infecting the semen,” he said.
“We just don’t have the answer to that right now. But knowing that we didn’t find that kind of activity among the patients in this study who were recovering from mild to moderate forms of the disease is reassuring.”
So, while semen might not transfer the virus, kissing definitely can!
Intimate contact like kissing (or coughing and sneezing near someone) is an easy way of spreading COVID-19, so give kissing a miss if you’re not feeling well.
The current health crisis is evolving rapidly. If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.