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Coronavirus may cause testicles to swell and could harm fertility, doctors warn

A bout of the novel coronavirus can cause men’s testicles to swell and may reduce their fertility.

Since Covid-19 emerged numerous unusual symptoms have been widely detailed, including loss of taste, brain fades and the chills.

Now five doctors writing in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine have reported another sign of the virus.

The medics, who work at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, treated a 37-year-old man who complained of having aching testicles.

As well as testicular discomfort and warmth, he had been suffering from a fever, fatigue and a cough.

The man reported having aching testicle (stock photo)

The genital pain had followed a week of the more familiar Covid-19 symptoms and had continued for three days before he sought medical help.

The man, who had tested positive for the coronavirus 15 days before, was subject to rigorous tests by the doctors before being given paracetemol and an antibiotic.

After spending a night in hospital he was discharged with his testicle pain eased somewhat.

Numerous different coronavirus symptoms have been reported
Numerous different coronavirus symptoms have been reported

According to the doctors semen of men who have been infected with Covid-19 have had ‘impaired spermatocyte quality’.

Previous SARS virus family infections – which Covid-19 is part of – have damaged spermatogenic tubule, which help to nourish sperm cells.

The paper warns that cases like the Covid-19 infection they studied could ‘a future impact on male fertility’.

While there has not been extensive research done into the impact Covid-19 may have on testicles and fertility, similar symptoms have been reported before.

Earlier this year researchers from Harvard Medical School filed a case report about a 42-year-old man who tested positive for the virus, after going to hospital with a “stabbing pain” in his testicles.

Although doctors could find nothing wrong with his testicles, CT scans did show damage in his lungs.

Two days later the man was diagnosed with Covid-19.


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