(NBC NEWS) — A small study suggests that the coronavirus may be found in the semen of infected men.
Chinese researchers tested semen samples from 38 men who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Genetic material from the virus was detected in the samples from six of the patients or roughly 16 percent.
The scientists say four of those men were at the acute state of the infection and the other two were recovering.
But the study did not prove that the virus can be sexually transmitted and the experts say more research is needed.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine released the following statement in response to the study:
Statement attributable to Peter Schlegel, MD Immediate Past-President
“This is an important new report that gives us more information about the virus that causes COVID disease but should not be a cause for alarm for couples.
The data suggest that virus can be detected in semen, but that is predominantly when men are actually first infected and ill with the disease. Men who are recovering from infection have much lower rates of having virus in semen. In fact, several prior studies could not detect the virus in semen after known COVID infection.
Based on this new study, it may be wise to avoid sexual contact with men until they are 14 days without symptoms.”