- SARS-CoV-2 is detectable in the semen of some patients with confirmed COVID-19 as well as in a small percentage of patients in the immediate postrecovery period.
- Further studies are needed to determine if SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually.
Why this matters
- This study does not confirm transmission, but out of an abundance of caution, clinicians might consider advising abstinence or condom use in patients recovering or newly recovered from COVID-19.
- 38/50 patients provided semen samples.
- 60.5% (23) had clinical recovery, and 39.5% (15) were in the acute infection stages.
- Semen specimens were SARS-CoV-2-positive in 6 (15.8%).
- 4/15 (26.7%) were still in the acute phase of COVID-19.
- 2/23 (8.7%) were recovering.
- All but 1 of the 6 were under age 50 years.
- The longest time since symptom onset among these 6 patients was 16 days.
- The 2 recovered patients were 2-3 days postrecovery.
- No significant differences were found in positive vs negative testing relative to age, urogenital disease history, days since symptom onset, hospitalization, or clinical recovery.
- Prospective cohort study.
- Funding: State Key Laboratory of Kidney Diseases, Shangqiu, China.
- Small numbers.
- Short follow-up.