Some of this spike may just be at-home kit companies absorbing brick-and-mortar fertility clinics’ business during a terrifying pandemic. Many facilities are trying to keep their doors open for folks like cancer patients who still need to start treatments that could leave them infertile. But quite a few clinics have either decided or been told by authorities that they are not essential services, scaling down operations or closing their doors entirely. Even clinics that have tried to stay open are increasingly reaching out to at-home collection companies for kits they can send to patients at high risk of contracting COVID-19, so that they can avoid unnecessary trips outside.
But at-home collection companies canvassed by The Daily Beast appear to be getting a big chunk of their pandemic business bump from people who weren’t looking to bank sperm before the crisis. This newfound concern about saving spunk likely stems from emerging fears about the virus’s potential effects on fertility.
As of now, there is no evidence that coronavirus can have a long-term impact on fertility, in men or women. Nor has the virus been detected in semen or vaginal fluid. However, from late February to mid-March, stories emerged about a theory put forward by Chinese doctors, based on speculation rather than evidence, that COVID-19 may affect the testes and so perhaps could impact male fertility.