Orchitis is an inflammation that occurs in one or both of the testicles. It is usually the result of an infection caused by a virus or bacteria. Orchitis may cause a rapid onset of pain in one or both testicles that may spread to the groin area. Orchitis may be related to a mumps infection, affecting about one third of males who have contracted the virus. Orchitis may also be caused by a bladder or urethral infection, most commonly associated with sexually transmitted diseases.
Symptoms of Orchitis
Orchitis causes a wide range of symptoms, some of which can easily be associated with unrelated conditions. Symptoms of orchitis may include the following:
- Swollen testicles
- Painful urination
- Bloody ejaculate
- Penile discharge
- Pain during intercourse
Patients experiencing testicular pain should consult with their doctors, as such pain can be an indication of a variety of conditions.
Orchitis is diagnosed through a full physical exam, including an examination of the testicles. To rule out other conditions, the doctor may also conduct the following tests:
- STD screening
- Ultrasound imaging
- Prostate and rectal exam
Routine blood tests and urinalysis are also performed.
Treatment of Orchitis
Treatment for orchitis varies, depending on the cause and may include conservative treatment or medication.
Orchitis associated with the mumps can usually be managed with painkillers, ice and rest. The swelling will subside as the mumps infection clears.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment
Orchitis caused by sexually transmitted diseases requires antibiotic treatment for both the affected patient and his sexual partner. It is important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even after symptoms are gone.
If left untreated, orchitis can cause complications ranging from testicular atrophy to infertility. As with any condition, prompt medical attention is necessary to prevent complications.
Prevention of Orchitis
Mumps vaccinations can help to prevent mumps-induced orchitis. Safe sex behaviors, such as monogamy and condom use, can help to lessen the risk of orchitis caused by sexually transmitted disease.