While the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged most of the U.S. economy, there’s one sector that’s surging. At-home sperm collection companies are seeing up to 10 times their usual ordering volume.
These companies provide sample collection kits, run lab tests on the sample, and then promise to cryogenically store viable seed.
According to The Daily Beast, companies like CryoChoice have seen sales jump 20 percent since the COVID-19 crisis. One theory for the rapid rise in sales is that American men are afraid that the virus can affect their fertility. In an article published in Newsweek, scientists in China raised concern that COVID-19 could damage the testes and kidneys. The Chinese researchers were interested in exploring if the virus could harm the male reproductive systems.
As of now, there is no evidence that the virus can affect male fertility, but it is known that serious illnesses and high fevers can negatively impact sperm, according to The Daily Beast. But fertility experts say that the effect of fever or serious illness on sperm production usually lasts only to three months.
But men seem to be worried anyway and with fertility clinics closed for “non-medically urgent preservation treatments,” the option of at-home sperm collection is fulfilling their need to store their semen.
Nervous men aren’t the only ones worried about their legacy. According to the New York Post, many women are rushing to get their eggs frozen amid fears of the coronavirus. A top fertility clinic in Manhattan says it’s been inundated with women begging to freeze their eggs during the pandemic.
“When the world is going crazy, just the idea that you can grasp something—have control of any area of your life—that may be worth the couple of hundred dollars it costs to bank some sperm,” Alex Tatem, an Indianapolis-based reproductive urologist, told The Daily Beast. However, he advises men to take a deep breath.
“Just really consider everything that’s involved,” he says, “and consider the fact we don’t have any evidence that cOVID-19 can cause long-term infertility. If you think about it and still say ‘I’m really anxious about it and this will be good for my peace of mind,’ then absolutely, it’s something worth pursuing.”
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