If you’re trying to have a baby, you may want to talk to your partner about taking extra precautions to avoid COVID-19. Whether that means limiting contact with others, wearing a mask, getting vaccinated, or other adjustments, there’s a good reason to stay healthy. Research has shown that men who contract COVID can have impaired fertility. That’s true even with mild or moderate levels of illness, and worth considering when you’re actively trying to conceive a child.
To determine whether the virus caused potential fertility problems, researchers analyzed the protein levels in semen. Protein levels related to reproduction were not the same in men who had contracted and recovered from the virus. Motility, sperm count, and the shape of the sperm were all affected, in addition to issues with the levels of protein. How long it takes to recover from this issue, and whether all men recover fully, isn’t known, and more studies into this area of reproductive health are needed.
But in the meantime, it’s important for couples who are trying to conceive to consider whether they should be more careful about their level of risk when it comes to COVID. It’s not always possible to completely avoid the virus, even when being very careful about interactions, crowds, hand-washing, and other areas. Still, a higher level of vigilance can lead to a reduced chance of contracting COVID.
If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, and your partner has had COVID, testing may be important. That can give you a better idea of whether there’s been any harm done, and whether damage from the virus may be contributing to infertility. Understanding where you and your partner are when it comes to reproductive health is a great first step.
If you have any questions about male fertility or seek additional guidance, the team at the Fertility Institute of San Diego can give you the support you need. Click here to learn more!