Can Childhood Mumps cause Infertility

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Mumps are a very common childhood illness that usually comes and goes without any lasting effects to a child. However, when mumps occur in a boy after he has reached puberty, or once he is an adult male, there are some fertility problems which can result.

Mumps in an adult male can lead to testicular inflammation, which can inhibit sperm production and subsequently lead to fertility problems. There has been a vaccinnation against mumps available since 1967, and it is usually given in early childhood to protect against the disease.

Mumps in a child is usually no big deal. However, when the illness affects an adult male, the testicles can become inflamed in a condition called orchitis. Around 20 to 30 percent of adult males who contract mumps will develop orchitis. In some cases of mumps-induced orchitis, the man will see a permanent reduction in sperm production.

Mumps-in-an-adult-male-can-lead-to-testicular-inflammationAbout 13 percent of men who suffer from mumps-induced orchitis will see a reduction in sperm production. Although complete infertility as a result of mumps-induced orchitis is rare, sperm production can be significantly reduced, which can make it much harder to get pregnant.

It is important that all children get their mumps vaccine during childhood, and that any man that has suffered from mumps-induced orchitis visit a doctor to determine if there could be any long lasting fertility problems as a result.

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