Dear Dr G,

I am a 25 year-old-man who is desperate and hoping to get some advice about my dwindling manhood.

Last year, I noticed painful glands on my face and had some difficulty in swallowing. After a few days, to my horror, I started getting painful testicles.

My nuts had become so swollen. I went to the doctors and they admitted me for observation. I was told I had contracted mumps.

I was surprised that despite the infection, I was not given antibiotics.

The swellings persisted for two weeks and it eventually subsided.

After almost one year, I am having some issues with my sex life. I don’t think I am the man I used to be.

My sex drive is not as strong and my partner notices my erection is somewhat weaker.

Besides, I also noticed my testicles have shrunk after the incident.

I would like to put Dr G on the spot regarding mumps.

What exactly is mumps? With the advent of vaccination, will the infection disappear into oblivion?

Finally, will my balls ever get back to their former glory, and will I ever be able to father a child?


Dwindling man (hood)

Mumps is a viral disease caused by a highly contagious virus spread rapidly among people living in close proximity.

The virus is usually transmitted through air droplets and touching. The infection can affect children and adults, however, the symptoms in adults are usually more severe and long-lasting.

In fact, many children may not even have any symptoms despite the infection.

The initial symptoms of mumps are fever, muscular ache and general malaise, usually followed by painful swelling of the salivary glands.

Because a virus causes the infection, the use of antibiotics is completely useless.

The vast majority of the sufferers are observed and with minimal intervention.

Complications of mumps are rare, but can also be detrimental. These may include meningitis, deafness, infections of the heart and the testicles or ovaries.

Infections of the gonads occur in both men and women. Fortunately, the infections of the ovaries are usually mild and hardly result in the impairment of fertility.

On the other hand, the mumps orchitis is the most common complication of adult men infected with the virus. The inflammation of the testicles is noted in 30% of infected men, and one-third of the disease affects both testicles.

Half of the victims with testicles affected by mumps demonstrate some degree of dysfunction. During the first few days of infection, the inflammation resulted in swelling of the sperm-producing cells.

The rise in pressure within the tightly packed sperm cells often leads to the eventual shrinkage of the manhood. Cutting open the testicles have been tried as a surgical mean to reduce the pressure caused by the viral attack.

However, the intervention did not prevent the testicular shrinkage, and fortunately, such brutal operations have been stopped!

The main cells in the sac affected by the mumps orchitis are the Leydig cells and the germ cells. Despite the initial plummeting level of testosterone during the acute phase of mumps, the basal testosterone for most men returns to normal after several months.

Therefore, the shrinking manhood tends not to impact on sexual libido or the rigidity of the penis. However, the psychological trauma of witnessing the rollercoaster changes of the swollen balls followed shrinking manhood can understandably dampen any man’s sex life.

On the other hand, the mumps causing male infertility is well documented.

Unilateral infection is noted to cause a transient drop in sperm quality, including the number, motility and morphology. Generally, bilateral mumps orchitis can induce subfertility in up to 87% of infected men. Early freezing of the gametes in the sperm bank may be a sure way to ensure preservation of the lineage.

The introduction of mumps vaccine in 1967 had ensured the drastic reduction of infections over five decades. The statistics demonstrated a drop in reported cases from 151,209 in 1968 to 265 cases in 2001. It is noted that the national uptake of the MMR vaccine had fallen from its peak of 92% to 82% in 2003.

Such reduction had impacted on the herd immunity and is widely blamed for the reemergence of this “ball destructive” virus!

The famous Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde, once said: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

Dr G’s advice is: “To lose one ball to mumps is regarded as a salvageable misfortune, but to lose both is definitely the carelessness of the vaccine sceptics!”

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