Genital Herpes (HSV-2, HSV-1) can reduce a man’s sperm count. The virus infects the genital tract in men, resulting in a lower sperm count in the seminal fluid.
In fact, there is increasing evidence that the herpes virus plays a role in male infertility through its ability to damage a man’s sperm. “Many previous studies revealed that HSV infections were related with abnormal sperm parameters (1).”
The bottom line according to the researchers is that: “HSV, by affecting the most important semen parameter sperm count, plays an important role in male infertility. (1)”
Men should be aware that even if they don’t have any physical symptoms, herpes may still be harming their ability to reproduce.
These men should also be aware that even without physical symptoms, their sperm can infect their partners. The researchers reported that they “detected a considerable prevalence of HSV DNA in semen from asymptomatic infertile males (1).”
The bottom line?
In more than half of infertile men, the cause of their infertility is unknown. This study shows that the herpes virus just may be a major cause.
(1) Monavari SH1, Vaziri MS, Khalili M, Shamsi-Shahrabadi M, Keyvani H, Mollaei H, Fazlalipour M. “Asymptomatic seminal infection of herpes simplex virus: impact on male infertility.” J Biomed Res. 2013 Jan;27(1):56-61.