Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles are absolutely gigantic, Minaj has alleged, and this is somehow related to COVID-19 vaccines. That's a sentence I didn't expect to type this morning, but here we are.
Minaj, who was notably absent from the Met Gala on Monday, explained to her fans on Twitter that if she gets vaccinated it won't be "for the Met". She goes on to say it'll be when she feels she's "done enough research" following some independent thought on the subject.
The research shows that vaccines are safe and effective, and far superior to the alternative: contracting a disease that is damaging to the health of you and others around you, which is often fatal, much more so for those who are unvaccinated.
However, the bit that's sent the Internet into a frenzy was Minaj's follow-up tweet, telling the story of her cousin's friend, and what's been going on in his pants.
Leaving aside how awful it must be to have a quiet word with a friend about an embarrassing problem and then see Nicki Minaj has told her closest 22.6 million followers about it, the question must be asked: what is she talking about?
Can Covid-19 vaccines cause swollen testicles?
No. Or at least, if his testicles are swollen and it's due to the vaccine rather than another cause, the case is pretty much unique and he needs to report for a case study.
Vaccines aren't without side effects, but swollen testicles are not among the listed adverse reactions to any of the vaccines available in the US, even among the rarer side effects.
On the other hand, COVID-19 can infect the testicles and cause swelling and widespread cell destruction. In a study on six patients who died of the disease, they found few sperm, suggesting that the virus could cause fertility problems. Studies on fertility following vaccines have found no decrease in sperm production, and actually a bit of an increase, though the team put this down to a longer gap before the post-vaccination sperm sample was donated.
Can Covid-19 vaccines cause impotence?
Again, no, impotence is not a reported side-effect of COVID-19 vaccines.
The virus, however, can be found in penis tissue long after your infection has cleared up, and could be causing erectile dysfunction, in what's been nicknamed “schlong-COVID”. Even mild cases of the disease have been shown to cause erection problems further down the line.
What can cause swollen testicles?
Online, there has been a lot of speculation about what might have enlarged Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles, likely to the surprise of Nick Minaj's cousin's friend himself. It's not often you wake up and the world's media is saying "here's what I think is going on with his balls" about your balls.
The main focus has of course been on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which the Internet deems to be the funniest of all the causes of enlarged testicles.
However, there are many things that can cause your or Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles to swell up, from testicle injury to cancer. It is true that STIs are among the causes, as well as other viruses such as mumps. Without seeing the testicles in question, it's difficult to know the cause. If you're out there, Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend, please see a doctor about your testicles.