Fever, cough, chest pain, breathing difficulties, anosmia, ageusia, and now... testicular pain? A report published in August by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine made by a team of doctors from an institute in San Antonio, Texas reported on the case of a 37-year-old American patient who, in addition to other COVID-19 symptoms, saw his testicles swell and complained of genital pain.
A new symptom?
As the report states, the man first experienced the more widespread symptoms of the coronavirus, such as fever, cough, and severe fatigue, which ‘progressed’ for ten days. It was during the last three days of this period that the testicular pain appeared. The patient had tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks earlier.
After going to the A&E and spending one night in hospital, the 37-year-old went home with slightly less pain. As the doctors explained, there is a possible link between this testicular pain and SARS-CoV-2: the alteration in the quality of spermatocytes.
According to the report:
Semen in men infected with SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates an alteration in sperm cell quality, potentially having a future impact on male fertility. In addition, thrombotic complications of SARS-CoV-2 can also affect the genitourinary system, with priapism being reported in a critically ill patient with acute respiratory distress syndrome and coagulopathic complications.
As a result, doctors are urging men to be very careful about possible new testicular pain. ‘With the progression of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, rare reproductive complications need to be characterised. The identification of infrequent genitourinary effects can help emergency physicians identify this disease (...) and trigger appropriate treatment, quarantine and fertility monitoring,’ they conclude.
This case is related to an analysis published in the same journal in July which evoked a possible link between priapism (persistent and particularly painful erections) and the virus. COVID-19 is obviously still far from having revealed all its secrets.