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Byline: Dr Sarah Brewer

Dr Sarah Brewer is here to solve your problems in The Max. Sarah graduated from Cambridge University as a doctor in 1983. She was a full-time GP for five years and now works in hospital medicine.

She writes on all aspects of health, and has written more than 25 popular health books.

Sarah is married to Richard and has a four-year old son, Saxon, and baby twins, Roman and Sapphire.

Write to her, in confidence, with any problem your family need solved, at The Max, Daily Record, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA.

SEVERAL people have recently asked about mumps and if it leads to male infertility.

When the mumps virus affects older males who have been through puberty, around one in three develops inflammation of a testicle known as mumps orchitis.

This is sometimes seen without enlargement of the salivary glands in the cheek, but there is usually a history of contact with mumps.

Symptoms include swelling and severe pain in the affected testis, along with a high temperature. Usually, only one testicle is affected.

This should always be checked medically to rule out twisting of the testicle, which is a surgical emergency.

Once mumps orchitis is confirmed, treatment is with painkillers plus ice-packs to reduce swelling and pain. Symptoms usually subside after four to seven days.

If mumps orchitis occurs before puberty, complete recovery follows and there is no future risk of fertilityQMY neighbour's dog has had worms. My children often play with him and I'm worried they may have caught them. What symptoms should I look for?

AIT is unlikely your children would catch worms from the dog. They are more likely to catch them from children at school. The main symptom is an itchy bottom, especially at night. You may also notice threadworms wriggling around the bottom or on the surface of bowel motions. Worms are easily treated with over-the-counter or on prescription products.QMY five-year-old daughter has a slight stammer. Is there an organisation I can contact for support?

AAROUND one in 20 children stammers for a time between two and five, however, two thirds go on to develop fluent speech as they get older. Early referral to a speech therapist helps stop the stammer becoming persistent. Contact the British Stammering Association, 15 Old Ford Road, London E2 9PJ. Parents Helpline: 0845-6032001. problems as a direct result of the infection.

If it occurs after puberty, the affected testicle usually shrinks afterwards and sperm production in this testicle will be reduced.

As mumps orchitis usually only affects one testicle, however, the commonly- feared side effect of reduced fertility is quite uncommon.

Sperm counts may be lower than normal and the time taken for an affected man's partner to conceive may be slightly longer than normal, but there is usually no cause for concern.

If you are worried, your doctor will be happy to arrange a semen analysis for you.

Interestingly, men who smoke cigarettes are statistically more likely to develop mumps orchitis than non-smokers.

Inflammation of a testicle due to the mumps virus is now becoming much less common, thanks to the introduction of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

QIS it true that drinking cranberry juice can help stop cystitis? If so, how much should I drink?

QDRINKING 300ml of cranberry juice per day can almost half the risk of developing pus cells in the urine, according to one study. And if pus cells did develop, the chance of them still being present after one month was only around a quarter of the odds in those not drinking cranberry juice. Half a pint a day would therefore seem to be a good amount to aim for.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 11, 2001
Words:616
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