Good news for men who are holding off on getting the COVID-19 vaccine for fear it would impact their fertility: a new study shows that it doesn't lower sperm count.
When the vaccines were first made available, some adults chose to forego them for fear it would hurt their chances of conceiving.
A new study published in JAMA found that there was no significant decline in sperm count for men who received an mRNA vaccine. Meaning? Men can get vaccinated against COVID-19 without fear it will impact their chances of having a baby.
The study followed 45 healthy men with no prior fertility issues. Their sperm count was monitored before receiving their first dose of an mRNA vaccine and again seventy days after receiving their second shot.
Doctors found no negative changes in sperm count among the men. In several, they noted an increased sperm count—but they can't attribute that to the vaccine.
The study focused on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which are based on mRNA platforms. Researchers didn't test the Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccines.
COVID can impact male fertility
While this study found no link between the COVID-19 vaccine and decreased sperm count, researchers say that COVID *can* impact male fertility.
A study published in January showed that compared to healthy men without COVID-19, those who had contracted the virus experienced a decline in sperm concentration, mobility and shape.
The study also found that the sicker the men got, the worse their fertility got, too.
Researchers say they need to continue to study COVID-19 patients to determine if that decreased fertility will last long term.
A separate study has linked erectile dysfunction to COVID survivors, too.
What should families take away from these studies?
Further research is needed but right now, the data shows that contracting COVID-19 can impact male fertility. It shows that the COVID-19 vaccine does not.
If you have any questions, bring them to your physician. Your medical team will be able to go over the latest research with you to help you make the best choice for your family.