Orchitis (testicular infection)


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Description

Orchitis is the term for inflammation and swelling of one or both of the testicles. It is usually caused by infection, either bacterial or viral.

Causes and Risk factors

Many cases of orchitis are caused by the mumps virus. Orchitis may also happen as a result of other infections such as prostatitis, epididymis, or sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Men who experience recurrent urinary infections, who have congenital abnormalities of the urinary tract, or those who have an indwelling catheter are also more at risk of getting orchitis.

Mumps orchitis, a complication of the childhood viral disease, is the most typical cause of orchitis in childhood. Up to 30 per cent of adult men who get mumps (with swelling of the parotid gland, the saliva-producing glands in the cheeks) will also experience an inflammation in one or sometimes both testicles.

Common symptoms of orchitis include swelling, tenderness or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotal area and in the testicle or testicles, pain in the testicles that gets worse when straining or during a bowel movement, fever, pain during urination, sexual intercourse, or ejaculation, discharge from the penis, blood in the semen.

In older men orchitis is usually associated with a urinary infection and caused by the same types of bacteria.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Tests that your doctor may use to diagnose orchitis and to rule out other causes of your testicle pain include a physical exam. A physical exam may reveal enlarged lymph nodes in your groin and an enlarged testicle on the affected side; both may be tender to the touch. Your doctor also may do a rectal examination to check for prostate enlargement or tenderness.

Ultrasound imaging is used to rule out twisting of the spermatic cord (testicular torsion).

Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial causes, while viral infections are treated symptomatically. If the cause is felt to be gonorrhea or Chlamydia sexual partners must also be treated. Pain medications such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are also commonly prescribed. ...