SAN ANTONIO - – Scientists worldwide have found that COVID-19 vaccines are not linked to infertility. However, new research shows the virus itself may be.
The KSAT Trust Index team was asked to verify the claim that getting COVID-19 could affect a man’s sexual health, so we dove into some recent studies to find out.
A new study out of Belgium found men experienced lower sperm motility and lower sperm counts over two months after having COVID-19. It showed sperm motility was reduced in 60 percent of men less than one month after COVID-19 infection, 37 percent of men one to two months after COVID-19 infection, and 28 percent of men more than two months after infection.
Then, an even larger study from Boston University, funded by the National Institutes of Health, linked the virus that causes COVID-19 to male fertility issues.
“Male partners, if they had a COVID infection two months prior to an opportunity to conceive, there was decreased chance of getting pregnant,” said Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease expert with University Health System and UT Health San Antonio.
Couples in which the male partner had tested positive within two months were 18 percent less likely to conceive.
The study mentioned possible reasons for that temporary decline in fertility:
- fever, a common COVID-19 symptom, is known to reduce sperm count and motility
- inflammation in the testes and nearby tissues
- erectile dysfunction
The researchers mentioned those are all common after COVID, and Dr. Bowling said another study backs that up.
“There was a study out of the University of Florida that showed for men that have acute COVID infection, afterward they are three times more likely to be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction than if they don’t have COVID infection,” Dr. Bowling said.
The researchers in all three studies noted the issues could potentially be avoided by vaccination.
“Even more reasons for couples who are concerned with getting pregnant or fertility issues to get the COVID vaccine,” Bowling said.
So, the claim that getting COVID-19 could affect male sexual health is true on the KSAT Trust Index.
If you have a a claim, picture or post you would like us to verify, you can submit it on the KSAT Trust Index page.