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Disease: Orchitis Orchitis
Category: Genito-urinary diseases

Disease Definition:

Most commonly associated with the virus that causes mumps, orchitis is the condition in which one or both of the testicles become inflamed. This condition is developed in at least one-third of males contracting mumps after puberty. Usually, other causes of orchitis include bacterial, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as gonorrhea or Chlamydia.


Bacterial orchitis is usually caused by epididymitis, which is inflammation of the coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of the testicle storing and carrying sperm. In that condition, it is called epididymo-orchitis. The most common signs and symptoms of orchitis include swelling and pain.

Work Group:

Symptoms, Causes


Developing suddenly, some of the symptoms of orchitis may be:


  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Testicular swelling on one or both sides
  • Discharge from penis
  • Pain ranging from mild to severe
  • Blood in the ejaculate
  • Tenderness in one or both testicles that might linger for weeks.


Occasionally, the terms "testicle pain" and "groin pain" are used interchangeably. But groin pain doesn’t occur in the testicles, but in the fold of skin between the thigh and abdomen. Testicle pain and groin pain aren’t caused by the same things. 
A doctor should be consulted when experiencing pain or swelling in the scrotum, particularly if the pain starts unexpectedly. Several conditions could result in testicular pain, some of which need immediate treatment. One of these conditions involves twisting of the spermatic cord (testicular torsion) that might result in pain similar to that caused by orchitis. In order to determine what is causing the pain, the doctor will perform tests. 


Orchitis can be either bacterial or viral.



Epididymitis, an inflammation of the coiled tube connecting the vas deferens and the testicle, is usually the cause of bacterial orchitis. The vas deferens carries sperm from the testicles. Epididymo-orchitis is the outcome of inflammation in the epididymis that spreads to the testicle.


An infection of the urethra or bladder spreading to the epididymis often results in epididymitis. The infection is usually caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD), especially gonorrhea or chlamydia. Being born with abnormalities in the urinary tract or having had a catheter or other medical instruments inserted into the penis may be some of the other causes of infection.



Mumps causes most of the cases of viral orchitis. About one-third of males contracting the mumps after puberty grow orchitis throughout their course of the mumps, often four to six days after onset.


Many factors might lead to developing orchitis. Nonsexually transmitted orchitis may have some of these risk factors:


  • Being older than 45
  • Being born with an abnormality in the urinary tract
  • Not being immunized against mumps
  • Having recurring urinary tract infections
  • Having surgery involving the genitals or urinary tract, for the risk of infection


Sexual behaviors containing an increased risk that contribute to STDs put the person at risk of sexually transmitted orchitis as well. Such as having:


  • Sex with a partner who has an STD
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • A personal history of an STD
  • Sex without a condom



Orchitis may cause some of these complications:

Scrotal abscess:

The infected tissue fills with pus in this condition.

Repeated epididymitis:

Orchitis can lead to recurrent episodes of epididymitis.

Testicular atrophy:

Orchitis might finally result in the shrinking of the affected testicle.


In few cases, orchitis could decrease fertility; but if orchitis affects only one testicle, it is less likely that sterility will occur.


The cause of orchitis determines its treatment.



Relieving the symptoms is what treatment for viral orchitis linked to mumps aims at. The doctor might recommend pain medication, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen, and might suggest elevating the scrotum, applying cold packs and bed rest. 



Antibiotic treatment is required in the case of bacterial orchitis and epididymo-orchitis, in addition to taking steps to relieve discomfort. If, The patient’s sexual partner will also requires treatment in case an STD is the cause of infection.
Some of the antibiotic medications that are usually used for bacterial orchitis treatment include:


  • Combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole
  • Doxycycline
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Azithromycin


To be able to choose the best treatment, the doctor should know if:


  • The patient is taking any other medications
  • Has any allergies
  • His infection is sexually transmitted
  • What kind of STD the patient has


All the antibiotics that are recommended must be taken even after the infection’s gone just to make sure it is gone for good. 


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