SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in stool, gastrointestinal tract, saliva, and urine samples, but little is known about SARS-CoV-2 in semen. This cohort study found that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients.
The authors collected semen samples from all male patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 aged 15 years and older between January 26, 2020, and February 16, 2020, in Shangqiu Municipal Hospital. They examined semen from 38 patients. Of these patients, 23 participants (60.5%) had achieved clinical recovery and 15 participants (39.5%) were at the acute stage of infection.
Results of the semen testing found that:
- 6 patients (15.8%) had results positive for SARS-CoV-2
- 4 of 15 patients (26.7%) with positive tests were at the acute stage of infection and 2 of 23 patients (8.7%) were recovering
- There was no significant difference between negative and positive test results for patients by age, urogenital disease history, days since onset, days since hospitalization, or days since clinical recovery
This research did not determine whether SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually.