Coronavirus is unlikely to be spread through sex, according to a survey of men with mild symptoms — but scientists admit they can’t rule it out completely.
Semen samples of 34 males in China, who’d been diagnosed with COVID-19 a month earlier, were analyzed by the University of Utah Health, reports the Daily Mail. The tests were negative at the time of the study, meaning the illness wouldn’t be sexually transmitted after recovery.
But experts couldn’t rule out the possibility the virus would be in seminal fluid during the infectious period.
Questions also remain about patients who have been severely ill with the virus, who weren’t included in the study. There are also concerns the virus could still enter the testicles, where sperm is produced, and cause “long-term damage” through a receptor called ACE2, which is present in cells all over the body.
To the relief of the study team in China, very little evidence was found that ACE2 is present in testicular tissue.
They are still baffled, however, as to why a fifth of the men they studied have testicular pain while suffering with COVID-19.