First Up: What Is Semen Made Of
It’s not just sperm. As Nelson Bennett, MD, urologist at Northwestern Memorial, previously told Men’s Health, semen is 80% water. “It also contains proteins and amino acids,” Bennett said. “It has fructose and glucose , zinc, calcium, vitamin C, and a few other nutrients.”
Did someone say protein? There isn’t much of it: According to Healthline, a 2013 review of studies published in the Journal of Andrologyfound that the average protein concentration of semen is 5,040 milligrams per 100 ml. And since the average ejaculation expels roughly 5 mL of semen, that means there are roughly 252 mg of protein in a single, er, serving.
Semen also has very few calories, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and author of Tell Me What You Want, explained in a 2o14 blog post on swallowing semen. “Most estimates Ive seen put the number of calories in a ‘serving’ of semen somewhere between 1 and 5,” he wrote.
What Does Being Male Have To Do With Covid
For SARS-CoV-2 to gain entry into a human body and begin to replicate, it needs to bind to something called an ACE2 receptor, a protein found on the surface of cells in the mouth, lungs, heart and other areas throughout the body. Among all the tissues in the body, the male testis shows nearly the highest level of ACE2 mRNA expression, causing researchers to worry that it could be a target for viral invasion and damage.
Additionally, researchers paid close attention to male fertility because the highly similar SARS-CoV-1 virus, which caused the SARS outbreak of 2003-2004, targeted the same ACE2 receptor and had deleterious effects on male sexual organs.
“A number of human viruses, including Ebola, Zika, herpes simplex, Epstein-Barr, human papilloma, HIV and mumps, have been known to cause temporary or permanent fertility issues, transmission during sex and orchitis, a painful inflammation or swelling of the testes,” Houston Methodist urologist Dr. Nathan Starke explains.
Can You Have Sex With Covid
Can you have sex during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic? Well, let’s hazmat a guess.
Are you human or are you dancer, as that song once asked? Well, if youre the former, then one question probably has crept into your mind or another part of your body at some point during all this social distancing and COVID-19 coronavirus talk. And that question is, can I have sex?
As you probably have figured out by now, social distancing does not mean have sex as much as possible. It is unclear how that could be the response to any type of infectious disease epidemic or pandemic.
In many ways, social distancing seems to be the polar opposite of sex: stay as physically apart from other humans, dancer or not, as you can so that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is less able to spread from person to person. There is currently no vaccine or full body condoms that will protect you or anyone else against this nasty virus. As I have described previously for Forbes, the goal of social distancing is to flatten the curve, keep the number of infections per day as low as possible so that the health care system doesnt get overwhelmed.
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You Can Contract Coronavirus Simply By Being Close To Someone
As of March 9, 2020, the CDC recommends social distancing measures to help stop virus transmission. They write, Based on what is currently known about this virus and similar coronaviruses, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts .
Those using the dating app Tinder may notice a new warning for users that reads, Your wellbeing is our #1 priority. Tinder is a great place to meet new people. While we want you to continue to have fun, protecting yourself from the Coronavirus is more important. The pop-up then goes on to recommend people wash their hands frequently, carry hand sanitizer, avoid touching their face, and maintain social distance in public gatherings.
Coronaviruses are defined by the World Health Organization as a family of viruses that cause illness from the common cold to more severe diseases. The strain is completely new and has not previously been identified in humans. The most common symptoms of Coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and possibly death.
Can Coronavirus Be Transmitted Through Kissing Or Having Sex
GettyCan you get Coronavirus from kissing or having sex?
With the Coronavirus spreading rapidly across the globe, people are curious about how they can contract the illness. Can you get Coronavirus from kissing someone or having sex with them? The short answer is yes.
Dr. Rachel Graham, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, tells Heavy, Theres no evidence that coronaviruses are transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids, but the virus can be found in respiratory secretions, so any intimate contact can be a risk. If you or your partner have respiratory symptoms or a fever, or if you have had known contact with an infected individual, its best to abstain until you feel better and/or you are tested for evidence of viral infection.
The issue here, of course, is that it can take days sometimes up to five or six for symptoms to show.
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Jury Still Out On Implications For Sexual Transmission
byMolly Walker, Associate Editor, MedPage Today May 7, 2020
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was found in the semen of a minority of men with COVID-19 infection in China, including recovering patients, researchers found.
Of 38 patients who provided a semen sample, six patients had SARS-CoV-2 detected in their semen, including four in the acute phase of infection and two who were recovering, reported Weiguo Zhao, MD, of the Eighth Medical Center of Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues.
But there was no significant difference in age, urogenital disease history, days since symptom onset, hospitalization, or clinical recovery between negative and positive tests, the authors wrote in a research letter in JAMA Network Open.
Amesh Adalja, MD, spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, characterized the findings as “interesting,” but added that it is unclear what the implications of the findings are.
“This does not translate to sexual transmission it hasn’t been proven,” Adalja told MedPage Today. “The majority of people are getting through respiratory transmission.”
He added that the epidemiology of the virus doesn’t fit with it being sexually transmitted, and that he had not seen or heard about other coronaviruses being sexually transmitted.
But it could be through oral sexual contact, he said, as there are “receptors in common,” although studies in epidemiology would be required to support it.
Research Studies Of Fertility In Healthy Males
Currently no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause male fertility problems. A recent small study of 45 healthy men who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine looked at sperm characteristics, like quantity and movement, before and after vaccination.12Researchers found no significant changes in these sperm characteristics after vaccination.
Fever from illness has been associated with short-term decrease in sperm production in healthy men.13 Although fever can be a side effect of COVID-19 vaccination, there is no current evidence that fever after COVID-vaccination affects sperm production.
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I Heard Some People Are Allergic Is This True
Yes, but its extremely rare.
Although there isnt a lot of hard data, semen allergies may affect up to 40,000 females in the United States.
Thats a small percentage of the nearly 160,000,000 females living in the U.S.
Symptoms of a semen allergy usually show up 20 to 30 minutes after contact or ingestion and may include:
Sodo Male Covid Patients Experience Fertility Effects
There is evidence that fertility and sexual function may be disrupted in a portion of male patients, especially those who had a severe case and wound up hospitalized from the disease. Here’s a quick roundup of what research studies have reported about patients recovering from COVID-19:
- 19% of patients in one study presented with scrotal discomfort suggestive of virus-induced inflammation around the time of their diagnosis.
- 39% of patients had clinically low sperm count in a Chinese study of men who’d all previously fathered at least one child without any reproductive assistance. Sperm function was compromised in 61%.
- 33% of the semen samples in one study showed low sperm quality and lesser ability to swim. 25% also reported low libido, and one patient reported the failure to achieve an erection. The patients also had significant hormone changes, which can be indicators of fertility disturbances.
- An Iranian study analyzing semen samples from patients every 10 days for 60 days found imbalances of free radicals and antioxidants, signs of inflammation and the activation of pathways that facilitate sperm cell death. Sperm concentration was reduced by 516% and its ability to swim by 209%.
- An Italian study that asked online survey respondents to self-report COVID diagnosis and erectile dysfunction symptoms found that the disease increases the risk nearly sixfold.
Looking at the autopsies of deceased patients, researchers identified the following:
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How Safe Is Intimacy With A Partner
True, many forms of intimacy require a closer distance than the six feet of separation recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Yet this does not mean that you should isolate yourself from your spouse or partner and stop being intimate at all. If both of you are healthy and feeling well, are practicing social distancing and have had no known exposure to anyone with COVID-19, touching, hugging, kissing, and sex are more likely to be safe. Similarly, sharing a bed with a partner who is healthy should not be an issue.
Be aware, though, that the CDC reports that some people may have the virus and not yet have symptoms during the early part of the incubation period . Additionally, some people never develop obvious symptoms of COVID-19 . In either case, its possible that the virus might spread through physical contact and intimacy.
How Can I Connect With My Partner While Im Social Distancing
Social distancing which means staying at home as much as possible, and staying at least 6 feet away from other people when you do leave the house is needed during this pandemic. Keeping yourself and your community healthy may mean making some changes to sex and relationships at this time, and that can be frustrating or lonely. But it doesnt mean you cant connect with partners in other ways. There are still things you can do to be intimate and stay safe, alone or with a partner:
Masturbation is the safest kind of sex there is theres no risk of unintended pregnancy or STDs, and no risk of spreading COVID-19. Masturbation can also help you relax if youre feeling anxious or stressed out. Just make sure you wash your hands and sex toys with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after.
If youre away from your partner, you can connect by doing things like making playlists of your favorite sexy songs, reading the same romantic or sexy story , and sending letters or postcards to each other.
Put on your favorite outfit, glam yourself up, and do a photoshoot.
If youre dating, you can go on a virtual date watch a movie together over video, play a video game or virtual board game, video chat over coffee or a meal, or listen to an album or playlist together.
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Intimacy Sex And Covid
- By Huma Farid, MD, Contributor
Home with your partner and hours of time ticking slowly by? As the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues to spread widely in the US and beyond, restrictions that promote social distancing do, too. By now, you may find yourself essentially quarantined at home with your partner. While this can be a wonderful time to connect with each other, you may have questions about how much intimacy is safe.
Can Swallowing Put You At Risk For An Sti
Just like any other form of unprotected sex, swallowing semen can put you at risk for an STI.
Before you and your partner engage in any unprotected sex, including oral stimulation, make sure to have a conversation about when you were last tested or if you think you should get tested.
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Coronavirus Found In Semen: Can It Be Sexually Transmitted
- traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the semen of patients with COVID-19 and those who recovered, suggesting that COVID-19 might be able to be sexually transmitted.
- Its important to understand that while the coronavirus was found in a small sample size of semen in this particular study, this does not necessarily mean that the virus itself is transmitted sexually.
- The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to stay home to decrease the risk of transmission. Even if you exhibit no symptoms, you may still be a carrier of the virus.
As the weeks fighting COVID-19 wear on, theres so much that researchers and the medical community are learning about the coronavirus on a daily basis. Most recently, researchers in China have discovered traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the semen of several patients with COVID-19 and those who recovered, suggesting that COVID-19 might be able to be sexually transmitted.
With any viral infection, it replicates, circulates, and gets into a lot of tissue. Its not surprising that theyre finding SARS-CoV-2 in multiple different bodily tissues and fluids, said Dr. Matthew G. Heinz, hospitalist, internist, Tucson Medical Center, and former director of provider outreach in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration. Heinz assisted in the domestic response to the Ebola crisis.
Can You Get Covid
All close contact with an infected person can expose you to the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 whether you’re engaged in sexual activity or not.
The virus spreads by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can be inhaled or land in the mouth or nose of a person nearby. Coming into contact with a person’s spit through kissing or other sexual activities could expose you to the virus. People who have COVID-19 could also spread respiratory droplets onto their skin and personal belongings. A sexual partner could get the virus by touching these surfaces and then touching his or her mouth, nose or eyes. In addition, the COVID-19 virus can spread through contact with feces. It’s possible that you could get the COVID-19 virus from sexual activities that expose you to fecal matter.
There is currently no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids, but the virus has been detected in the semen of people who have or are recovering from the virus. Further research is needed to determine if the COVID-19 virus could be transmitted sexually.
The safest type of sexual activity during the COVID-19 pandemic is masturbation. Be sure to wash your hands and any sex toys used, both before and after masturbating. You might also consider engaging in sexual activity with partners via text, photos or videos, ideally using an encrypted platform to provide privacy protection.
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Answered By Infectious Diseases Expert Sara Bares Md
Close contact with someone who has COVID-19, whether engaged in sexual activity or not, can expose you to the virus. Masks are just one layer of protection. Since respiratory droplets are the primary mode of transmission, the risk would be reduced if the person with COVID-19 is also wearing a mask.
However, people with COVID-19 could also spread respiratory droplets onto their skin and the surfaces around them. If you touch these surfaces and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes, the virus could be transmitted. Further, the virus can spread through contact with feces. Sometimes sexual activities can expose you to fecal matter.
Although there is currently no evidence that the COVID-19 virus transmits through semen or vaginal fluids, it has been detected in the semen of people recovering from COVID-19. We would thus recommend avoiding any close contact, especially very intimate contact like unprotected sex, with someone with active COVID-19 to minimize the risk of transmission.
If It Has Actual Nutrients Does That Mean It Has Calories
Yes, but not as many as you might think. Contrary to popular belief, sperm isnt highly caloric.
Each teaspoon of ejaculate the average amount of ejaculate produced at one time is around five to seven calories, which is about the same as a stick of gum.
Theres no single description of what semen tastes like because it can vary from person to person.
To some, it can taste bitter and salty, while for others, it can taste sugary sweet.
Although there isnt a direct link proving that a persons diet directly affects the taste of their sperm, theres some anecdotal evidence.
There are a few foods that could make semen taste more palatable, or less acidic, such as:
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