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A new study has indicated that couples wanting to have children have even more reason to protect themselves from COVID-19. That’s because men who contract the virus may have lowered sperm counts. The Belgian study found lower sperm counts in 37% of the 120 men who participated in the study, less than one month after they had been diagnosed with the virus. At the one-month mark, there were lowered counts in 29% of the men, and 6% still had lower counts after two months.
While that seems to indicate that most men will see their sperm count return to normal in time, there is still the question of whether that’s the case for every man who has his sperm count affected by COVID-19. With 6% of men still affected at the two-month mark, there is the chance that some men could have long-term effects from the virus. For men who see lowered counts, three months is the typical, estimated time for recovery.
There are additional studies taking place to see if any men experienced permanent damage to their sperm count or quality from the infection, but this information may not be known for some time. Whether men were hospitalized or had much milder symptoms hasn’t been shown to play a role in the issue of lowered sperm counts, as the study didn’t find any differences based on the severity of symptoms.
The level of COVID-19 antibodies in a man’s blood appeared to correlate with a lower sperm count. Any couples who are trying to conceive should be aware of this potential side effect, and the chance that the quality of sperm after COVID-19 infection could be less than optimal, at least for a period of time.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we can help protect your legal rights and interests related to surrogacy and assisted reproduction. Contact us to learn more!