ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Complications of mumps are potentially serious, but rare.
Most mumps complications involve inflammation and swelling in some part of the body, such as:
- Testicles. This condition, known as orchitis, causes one or both testicles to swell in males who've reached puberty. Orchitis is painful, but it rarely leads to sterility — the inability to father a child.
- Pancreas. The signs and symptoms of this condition, known as pancreatitis, include pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting.
- Ovaries and breasts. Females who've reached puberty may have inflammation in the ovaries (oophoritis) or breasts (mastitis). Fertility is rarely affected.
- Brain. A viral infection, such as mumps, can lead to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). Encephalitis can lead to neurological problems and become life-threatening.
- Membranes and fluid around the brain and spinal cord. This condition, known as meningitis, can occur if the mumps virus spreads through your bloodstream to infect your central nervous system.
- Hearing loss. In rare cases, mumps can cause hearing loss, usually permanent, in one or both ears.
- Miscarriage. Although it isn't proved, contracting mumps while you're pregnant, especially early on, may lead to miscarriage.
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