Data from China says that traces of the COVID-19 virus were found in some men’s semen. Still, experts are not too concerned.
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that’s widespread and still not understood, making it a perfect recipe for panic. Every couple of weeks new studies pop up, alarming us to the horrible possibilities the virus presents. One of these cases occurred in China, where a study showed that a percentage of men had traces of the COVID virus in their semen.
The study was small, conducted on just 38 men who had received treatment or were being treated for COVID-19. Results of the study said that 16% of these men had traces of COVID in their semen (6 men in total). Four of them were still infected.
Despite this evidence and how alarming it might sound, medical experts believe that there’s no cause for alarm, even if more research should be conducted. They emphasize that there’s not enough data to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact alone.
The study has many limitations, including the small size of it. Researchers also didn’t dive into important specifics, like whether the virus was alive or dead when it was found in the semen samples.
Dr. Jaimie Meyer, an infectious disease specialist, told Cosmopolitan said that if there’s transmission during sex it most likely occurred through kissing and close contact. “We still think that the primary mode of transmission is through droplets,” she said. “Droplets that actually invade the nasal mucosa and the upper respiratory tract.”
Dr. Meyer says that there might be increased risk when it comes to oral sex, since the oral mucosa would be involved, but this is still just speculation.
Traces of the COVID-19 virus are found in people’s blood, saliva, stool samples, and more, which is similar to other viruses like Zika and Ebola. Despite this knowledge, sex isn’t the main way in which these diseases are transmitted.
More research is necessary, but what we do know is that close contact with infected people greatly improves the odds of contracting coronavirus. “More and more we are seeing that it’s the close, extended viral exposure time spent in close proximity, especially indoors or in a poorly ventilated or small room, that is most effectively transmitting COVID,” explains Dr. Jill Grimes to Healthline.
While you might not have to worry about the specifics of sex and coronavirus, sadly, breathing and kissing someone who might have been exposed remains a big risk.