COVID-19 Linked To Long-Term Decline In Sperm Quality: Study

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 11, 2023 - 03:40 AM

Authored by Jessie Zhang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Months of exhaustion, persistent loss of taste and smell, blood clotting issues, and now low sperm count. The list of long-term side effects of COVID-19 continues to expand.

Men, even if their symptoms are mild, experience a decrease in semen quality up to three months after recovering, according to a new study.

We assumed that semen quality would improve once new sperm were being generated,” said Rocio Núñez-Calonge, who holds a doctorate in biology and is a scientific advisor at UR International Group at the Scientific Reproduction Unit in Spain. “But this was not the case.”

Researchers find that sperm quality did not improve even three months after their COVID diagnoses.(Rawpixel/Shutterstock)

Concerns About Permanent Damage and Febrility

The small study was conducted in Madrid, Spain, and examined 45 men with mild COVID-19 diagnoses.

Half of the participants experienced a 57 percent decrease in total sperm counts post-diagnosis. Sperm motility fell from 49 to 45 percent.

Additional findings showed a 20 percent reduction in semen volume, a 26.5 percent decrease in sperm concentration, and a decline in the number of live sperm from 80 to 76 percent.


Even 100 days after recovering from the infection, there was no noticeable improvement in sperm quality, despite the expected production of new sperm during that period.

We do not know how long it might take for semen quality to be restored,” Ms. Núñez-Calonge said. “And it may be the case that COVID has caused permanent damage, even in men who suffered only a mild infection.”

There is no need for immediate concern, according to Dr. Carlos Calhaz-Jorge, a renowned fertility specialist in Portugal. The study shows the significance of long-term monitoring of fertility patients following a COVID-19 infection, even if it is mild, he noted.

“However, it’s important to note that the semen quality in these patients after a COVID infection is still within the World Health Organization’s criteria for ‘normal’ semen and sperm,” Dr. Calhaz-Jorge said. “So it is unclear whether these reductions in semen quality after a COVID infection translate into impaired fertility, and this should be the subject of further research.”

Cause of Semen Quality Decline Unknown

Ms. Núñez-Colange said that inflammation may be a contributing factor. “The inflammatory process can destroy germ cells by infiltrating the white blood cells involved in the immune system and reduce testosterone levels by affecting the interstitial cells that produce the male hormone,” she noted in a press release.

The researchers conducting the study have raised questions about the direct impact of SARS-CoV-2—the virus causing COVID-19—on the decline in semen quality.

“There are likely to be additional factors that contribute to long-term sperm parameters decrease, but whose identity is currently unknown,” Ms. Núñez-Colange added.

Doctors are also concerned about the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 vaccinations on sperm quality and fertility. “Everyone should be concerned,” said Dr. Jane Orient, an internal medicine doctor with over 40 years of clinical experience.

We don’t have any long-term studies, and we can’t because the vaccines haven’t been around that long,” she added. “But there have been signals coming from fertility clinics—that they can’t make viable fetuses, and they’re also having trouble getting sperm to work. These are anecdotal reports.”

The study aims to investigate further and monitor the participants to assess whether the observed effects on fertility are temporary or permanent.

How to Maintain a Healthy Sperm Count

An extensive study conducted from 1973 to 2018 revealed a significant global decline in sperm count, linked to factors such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals and unhealthy lifestyles.

As endocrine-disrupting chemicals and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors are two of the main reasons behind declining sperm count, Shanna Swan, a leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologist holding a doctorate in statistics and author of the study, said people can start by working on reducing those exposures.

Read more here...