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A research that was conducted at Dublin's Mater Hospital reports there is a rise in the numbers of teenage boys suffering from mumps-related pain.

Study was published in the 'British Journal of Urology International'. Mumps pain is in relation with swelling in testicles, which leaves these boys at a high risk of infertility.

 The problem is in close connection with the high number of children in 90ties who didn t receive the MMR vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. In the 1990s there was a global shortage of the MMR vaccine. Additionally, there was an unproven scare about the link of the vaccine to autism, which led to a fall-off in children getting vaccinated. However, the link to autism was later found to be false.

Children who didn t get vaccine are now teenagers or young men and they may be suffering from a condition also known as mumps orchitis.

To be more precise, the study pointed out that the condition is being seen in young men aged 15 to 24 years who were not vaccinated against mumps. Additionally, it is estimated that approximately 40% of males who develop mumps after puberty can suffer from orchitis.

Generally speaking orchitis may be caused by an infection from many different types of bacteria and viruses. It is usually a result of epididymitis, inflammation of the tube that connects the vas deferens and the testicle. However, the most common virus that causes orchitis is mumps. Orchitis most often occurs in boys after puberty, and the condition is very rare before the age of 10.

Usually, orchitis develops four to six days after the mumps, and some boys who get orchitis caused by mumps will have shrinking of the testicles also known as testicular atrophy, which may cause infertility. Additionally, orchitis may be caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as gonorrhea or Chlamydia; or can occur along with infections of the prostate or epididymis.

As already said, the rate of sexually transmitted orchitis or epididymitis is higher in men ages 19 - 35. Additionally, risk factors for orchitis are often urinary tract infections, problems of urinary tract that occurred at birth or possible surgery of urinary tract. Other risk factors include being older than 40 years old, long term use of foley catheter, and as said above not being vaccinated against the mumps.

Symptoms typical of orchitis are groin pain or tender, swollen groin area on affected side, pain with intercourse, ejaculation or with urination, blood in the semen and possibly discharge from penis. Scrotal swelling is also possible and tender, swollen, heavy feeling in the testicle which might get worse by a bowel movement or straining.

Additionally, symptoms may involve fever, vomiting, headache, and a general feeling of being unwell. It is estimated that approximately half of the men who get mumps will notice some shrinkage of their testicles and approximately 10% of them will suffer a drop in sperm count. However, in some cases the condition may lead to infertility.

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