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Orchitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Oct 16, 2023

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Causes Of Orchitis

Bacterial Orchitis

Viral orchitis

Symptoms Of Orchitis

Risk Factors Of Orchitis

Diagnosis Of Orchitis

Treatment Of Orchitis

Managing bacterial orchitis

Virulent orchitis treatment

Complications Of Orchitis

Prevention Of Orchitis

Orchitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Orchitis is an inflammation of either one or both testicles. Orchitis may develop as a result of bacterial, viral, or unknown causes. Ovarian orchitis is most frequently brought on by bacterial infections, such as STIs. The mumps virus can infrequently cause orchitis.

Bacterial orchitis and epididymitis, an inflammation of the sperm-transporting and storing coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of the testicle, may coexist. This condition is known as epididymo-orchitis.

In addition to hurting, orchitis may affect fertility. Medication can treat some of the signs and symptoms of viral orchitis as well as the underlying causes of bacterial orchitis. However, scrotal soreness could not go away for a few weeks.


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Causes Of Orchitis

Orchitis can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. On rare occasions, the cause of orchitis is unknown.

Bacterial Orchitis

Epididymitis frequently causes or contributes to bacterial orchitis. The most common cause of epididymitis is an infection of the urethra or bladder that spreads to the epididymis.

The infection is typically the result of an STI. Other causes of infection include being born with anomalies in your urinary tract or having a catheter or other medical device inserted into your penis.

Viral orchitis

The mumps virus frequently causes viral orchitis. Nearly one-third of boys who contract the mumps after puberty experience orchitis, which typically manifests four to seven days after the mumps start.

Symptoms Of Orchitis

Orchitis can present with the symptoms listed below:

  • There is mild to severe pain
  • Swelling in one or both testicles.
  • Diarrhea, nausea
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • The terms "groin pain" and "testicle pain" can occasionally be used interchangeably. However, groin pain does not originate in the testicles; rather, it is felt in the groin, a fold of skin between the thigh and the abdomen. The reasons for groin pain and testicular discomfort are different.

Risk Factors Of Orchitis

Risk elements for non-sexually transmitted orchitis include:

  • Lack of the mumps vaccine
  • Urinary tract infections that recur
  • Having undergone surgery on their genitalia or urinary system having a congenital defect in the urinary tract

If you engage in sexual actions that can result in STIs, you are at risk for sexually transmitted orchitis. These actions include:

  • Several sexual partners
  • Relationships involving STI carriers
  • Unrestricted sexual behavior
  • Experience with an STI personally

Diagnosis Of Orchitis

After examining your medical history, your doctor will likely undertake a physical examination to check for enlarged testicles on the affected side and lymph nodes in your groin. Your physician might also conduct a rectal exam to check for prostate pain or enlargement.

Your doctor might recommend:

  • The STI test. If you have discharge flowing from your urethra, a little swab is placed into the tip of the penis to take a sample of it. The sample is used in the laboratory to check for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Some STI tests include a urine test.
  • Urine testing. To check for any irregularities, your pee is examined.
  • Ultrasound. This imaging technique is the one that is most frequently used to assess testicular pain. An ultrasound with color Doppler can help to confirm the diagnosis if the blood flow to your testicles is either higher than usual, which would indicate orchitis, or lower than normal, which would indicate torsion.

Treatment Of Orchitis

The underlying cause of orchitis will determine the treatment plan. 

Managing bacterial orchitis

Antibiotics must be taken in order to treat either bacterial or epididymo-bacterial orchitis. If the bacterial sickness was brought on by a STI, your sexual partner also needs therapy.

Finish the entire course of antibiotics your doctor prescribed even if your symptoms disappear sooner to ensure the infection has been completely eradicated.

The ache might not go away for several weeks. Rest, an athletic strap to support the scrotum, ice packs, and medicines can all help to reduce pain.

Virulent orchitis treatment

Symptom reduction is the aim of treatment. Your doctor might recommend:

  • NSAIDs, such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • cold Packs

Most people with viral orchitis start feeling better in three to ten days, though the scrotal discomfort may take many weeks to go away.

Complications Of Orchitis

Complications of orchitis include the following:

  • Testicular enlargement. Orchitis-infected testicles may gradually get smaller.
  • Abscess in the scrotum. Pus builds up in the infected tissue.
  • Infertility. Orchitis can occasionally lead to hypogonadism (inadequate production of testosterone) or infertility. These are less frequent, though, if the orchitis just affects one testicle.

Prevention Of Orchitis

Get vaccinated against the mumps to prevent the most common viral orchitis cause.

Practice safe sexual behavior to guard against STIs that might cause bacterial orchitis.

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