Coronavirus is unlikely to spread through sex, according to a survey of men with mild symptoms – but scientists admit they can’t rule it out completely.
Semen samples from 34 men in China who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 a month earlier have been analyzed by the University of Utah Health, reports the Daily Mail. The tests were negative at the time of the study, which means that the disease would not be transmitted sexually after recovery.
But experts could not rule out the possibility that the virus was in the seminal fluid during the infectious period.
Questions also remain about patients severely affected by the virus, who were not included in the study. There is also concern that the virus may still enter the testes, where sperm is produced, and cause “long-term damage” via a receptor called ACE2, which is present in cells throughout the body.
Much to the relief of the study team in China, very little evidence was found that ACE2 is present in testicular tissue.
However, they still don’t know why a fifth of the men they studied suffer from testicular pain when they have COVID-19.