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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 107-108

Should we worry that the COVID-19 could be transmitted with the semen?


Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq

Date of Submission04-Sep-2020
Date of Decision11-Dec-2020
Date of Acceptance23-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication18-Apr-2021

Correspondence Address:
Ali Adel Dawood
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Mosul, Mosul
Iraq
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cmrp.cmrp_26_20

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How to cite this article:
Dawood AA. Should we worry that the COVID-19 could be transmitted with the semen?. Curr Med Res Pract 2021;11:107-8

How to cite this URL:
Dawood AA. Should we worry that the COVID-19 could be transmitted with the semen?. Curr Med Res Pract [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 16];11:107-8. Available from: http://www.cmrpjournal.org/text.asp?2021/11/2/107/314026



Dear Editor,

It has become known that COVID-19 is transmitted human to human through respiratory droplets by coughing or sneezing. It can also occur through contact with surfaces in the immediate vicinity, or with objects used by a person with COVID-19. The best way to protect from the COVID-19 is to stay home to decrease the risk of transmission. The human being may also be a carrier of coronavirus, even show does not present any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that it is unknown whether the virus can spread through vomit, urine and breast milk.[1]

During February and March, a previous study revealed that 12 patients tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 in semen samples in China. The current data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is predominantly found in the semen of patients with severe infections, or whether detected the significant virus levels in the semen of patients with mild disease or in the semen of asymptomatic people.[2]

Other China studies reported that several male patients with the severe coronavirus infections developed pain in their groins, more specifically, their testicles, the entity orchitis or inflamed testicles due to viral infections.[3]

Then an analysis was carried out by 38 patients receiving extreme COVID-19 therapy from Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in Henan Province, China. Fifteen of them provided a semen sample during the acute phase of their illness and 23 shortly after recovering. Viral RNA was discovered in semen samples in four of fifteen acute disease patients and two of the 23 remediating patients. In this study, the researchers did not follow up with the participants to determine the duration of the viral load in their semen and whether the men had spread it to their sexual partners. The problem is there were some technical difficulties in detecting the virus in the testing semen. Besides, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the sperm did not show whether it is active and capable of causing infection. Furthermore, the text does not explain how much viral load was present in the sperm, nor did it examine whether the virus can be transmitted through sexual activity.[4]

Although it is important to understand that the virus was found in a small sample size of semen in this study, this does not necessarily mean that the virus itself is transmitted sexually.[5]

The risk of COVID-19 transmission is well established through saliva and aerosolised particles while the role is questionable through the faecal-oral route. The absence of details on viral discharge and semen concentration as possible restrictions. Until now, there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually, so the care, abstinence or a condom may be part of prevention efforts in the future. Body secretions not mere semen and vaginal secretion have a potential role in sexual acts.[6] However, considering the negative impact on the human mind, an uncertain period of abstinence can cause. Hence, psychological support should be available to every individual and customised advice should be given considering the contexts around the particular life.[7]

Fortunately, there is no evidence to indicate that SARS-CoV-2 could be found in vaginal fluid, but having sex, including intimate touching and kissing, may put anyone at risk of catching or spreading the virus.[8]

The only scenario could be whether sexual transmission of SARS-CoV-2 persisted in the testicles for extended periods, or if the COVID-19 survivors might sexually transmit the virus after their recovery. In the meantime, it would be considered for people recovering from COVID-19 to use a condom until further research is done to clarify how long the infectious virus stays in semen.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Li D, Jin M, Bao P, Zhao W, Zhang S. Clinical characteristics and results of semen tests among men with coronavirus disease 2019. JAMA Netw Open 2020;3:e208292.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Kelland K. Sperm containing virus raises small risk of COVID-19 spread via sex: Study. Reuters 2020; May 07. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-semen/.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Walker M. COVID-19 found in semen – What does that mean? MedPage Today 2020;May 07. Available from: https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/86361.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Rana P. Coronavirus is found in semen of Covid-19 patients. WSJ 2020;May 07. Available from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-is-found-in-semen-of-covid-19-patients-11588863600.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Riggall L. Coronavirus detected in semen of recovering COVID-19 patients. BioNews 2020;May 11. Available form: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_149541.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Sternlicht A. Coronavirus found in semen: Can it be sexually transmitted? Forbes 2020; May 14. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2020/05/10/coronavirus-found-in-semen-can-it-be-sexually-transmitted/#33e96d826373.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Hafi B, Uvais N, Jafferany M, Afra T, Ramzi T. Can COVID-19 virus be transmitted through sex? Dermatol Ther 2020;33:e13679.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Shapiro N. Should we worry that COVID-19 coronavirus is sexually transmitted? Forbes 2020;May 16. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninashapiro/2020/05/10/.  Back to cited text no. 8
    




 

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