Testicular mumps

What is a testicular mumps?

Testicular mumps is a complication of mumps. The infection spreads to the testicles via the bloodstream and causes testicular inflammation. This happens in 20 to 30 percent of the cases that occur during puberty. Otherwise, this complication of mumps disease occurs much less often.

Causes of the development of testicular mumps

The cause of testicular mumps is first of all a mumps disease. This is triggered by the mumps virus, which can be transmitted via droplets in the air.

The contagious power of the saliva of a person suffering from mumps is assumed to be very high. Those affected are contagious from about seven days before the onset of the disease to nine days afterwards.

The onset of the disease is often indicated by an inflammation of the parotid gland, which leads to swelling of the cheeks and forms the familiar mumps face. Nevertheless, there is also a risk of infection from the course of the disease that show less clear symptoms, such as in about half of the mumps cases.

In the course of the mumps infection, the mumps virus can spread, causing other organs such as the tear, thyroid, pancreas and breast glands to become inflamed and swollen. The mumps virus can also infect the testes, ovaries and the nervous system, causing inflammation there. The testicular mumps describes this complication of the mumps disease, in which it comes to an inflammation of the testicles.


In most cases, the diagnosis can undoubtedly be clarified by the patient's clear symptoms. The swelling of the cheeks in connection with an inflammation of the testicles and other organ, especially glandular inflammation often does not allow any further possible diagnosis.

Nevertheless, there is the possibility of a pathogen determination that can dispel doubts. Either the patient's antibodies to the mumps virus can be detected or the pathogen can be displayed directly.

Concomitant symptoms and complications

The extremely severe swelling of the testicle is the most significant symptom of testicular mumps. Often the disease of testicular mumps begins on one side and then in some cases becomes bilateral. The testicle is particularly painful on pressure.

Concomitant symptoms of testicular mumps are of course the symptoms of mumps in general. This often leads to inflammation and significant swelling of the salivary glands, which can significantly swell the patient's cheeks.

In addition, there are often chewing pain and protruding ears due to the swelling. Fever and a general feeling of illness are also often accompanying symptoms of this complication.

Infection of the pancreas is one of the complications that can occur. This usually manifests itself as nausea, vomiting and upper abdominal pain.

There is also the possibility of inflammation of the meninges and, very rarely, of the brain. This process shows up through impaired consciousness, seizures and other neurological failures such as paralysis and a hearing loss. Fortunately, such complications are very rare.

Testicular mumps infertility

Unfortunately, there is a possibility of infertility as a result of testicular mumps. However, this complication occurs very rarely. More often, however, after the severe swelling during the infection, there is moderate stunting of the testicle. However, this reduction is rarely associated with infertility.


Unfortunately, there is no basic therapy for mumps and therefore also none for testicular mumps.

However, symptomatic therapy should be used. This means that the symptoms should be combated as far as possible. This is done using the general measures for testicular or epididymal inflammation.

The scrotum should be elevated and refrigerated whenever possible, while the patient should be encouraged to rest in bed.
Decongestant and pain relieving medications such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenac help alleviate the discomfort. Frequent assessment by doctors should be carried out in order to identify and stop dangerous processes as early as possible.

The best “treatment” is to prevent mumps with a vaccination. Two vaccinations should be given as part of the basic immunization or a “post-exposure vaccination” in the event of contact with a sick person within three days.

Find out more about the combined mumps, measles and rubella vaccination here: MMR vaccination.

Duration of illness and prognosis

The duration of a mumps illness or complication of testicular mumps is difficult to estimate. It depends on the strength of the immune system and thus whether the inflammation spreads to other organs than the parotid gland and testicles.

In about half of those suffering from mumps, the infection runs without symptoms or manifests itself only as a mild, flu-like infection. The duration of the illness varies between a few days and many weeks.

As a rule, the prognosis for testicular mumps is good. Only in rare cases does the dreaded, permanent damage to the inner ear hearing loss or infertility occur.