Reports of testicle pain, changes in periods and hormonal surges in both prepubescent children, and teenagers are cause for consideration.
Parents from the Long Covid Kids support group are raising the question.
Can Covid affect fertility?
Some of the parents share their experiences and concerns to help raise awareness of hormonal changes following a Coronavirus infection.
Research is needed.
“Testicle pain was a very early symptom for my 7-year-old. He kept telling me his scrotum hurt and described and strong pain. Seven months after initial infection he started having wet dreams for about 10 days, I thought puberty would start much later. He now has hostile outbursts of irrational behaviour as does my daughter.”
“My 11-year-old son had testicle pain a few times, he described it as a sharp pain that took his breath away. It turns up randomly he seems to be storming through puberty since having Covid”
“My 8-year-old son has been complaining on and off that his ‘bits’ hurt and ache. We thought it might be an infection, but it settles and comes back’
“Eight months after getting Coronavirus our son is describing testicle pain.
“He describes it as a dull ache that spikes. He can find it hard to get comfortable, moving his legs can be an issue. Nurofen seems to help. He first mentioned testicle pain about 3 months after the initial illness.
No doctor has accepted it is related to Covid and I worry about fertility later in life"
"My son who has just turned 7 has a breast bud, I am really concerned"
“My 7 now 8-year-old daughter seems like she is about to hit puberty soon her body has changed loads in a short time, she has gained weight and her hormones seem all over the place!”
“Our teenager is 15 and has seen changes to her mensural cycle. She often complains of pain in the area of her ovaries. I have read about this in the adult group and can’t help but worry about her future fertility”
One mother says her daughter "hasn't had a period since she got COVID19".
Another parent says "Our 3 all have the stabbing ovarian pain & a sharp pain “up my front bottom Mummy” most days at 8+ months. It has definitely expedited some aspects of puberty too"
Research into the lasting effects of Coronavirus in children needs to move further up the list of priorities.
Thoughts can't help but turn to Mumps, more common in people usually born between 1980 and 1990 according to the NHS website.
It is widely known that Mumps can cause pain and swelling of the testicle, Just under half of all males who get mumps notice some shrinkage of their testicles and an estimated 1 in 10 men experience a drop in their sperm count.
According to the NHS "the swelling is usually sudden and affects only one testicle. The testicle may also feel warm and tender. Occasionally, swelling can occur up to 6 weeks after the swelling of the glands.
Most children now have the MMR vaccine and normally develop a life-long immunity to further infection.
With the advancement in vaccines for COVID19, we hope that children may soon be able to access a vaccine too.
LongCovidKids.org is a parent and patient-led campaign & support group for parents of children with Long Covid. Our story started with a short film on long-lasting symptoms of Covid in children & we are working on