What Is Orchitis?
Orchitis is a rare condition that occurs when one or both testicles become inflamed and swollen. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection, though in some cases it can also be caused by a virus. Symptoms of orchitis may include pain, fever, and swelling of the testicles.
Signs and Symptoms of Orchitis
The primary symptom of orchitis is pain and swelling in one or both testicles. In some cases, fever and chills may also be present. The testicles may feel tender to the touch, and some men may feel a burning sensation or sensitivity. In some cases, there may also be a decrease in sex drive or difficulty in ejaculation.
Causes of Orchitis
The most common cause of orchitis is a bacterial infection, usually caused by the same bacteria that causes prostatitis or epididymitis. Viral infections, especially those caused by the mumps virus, can also cause orchitis. In rare cases, orchitis can be caused by a fungal infection.
Treatment of Orchitis
The treatment of orchitis depends on the cause. Bacterial orchitis is most often treated with antibiotics, and viral orchitis with antiviral medications. In some cases, a combination of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories may be used. If there is an underlying condition causing orchitis, such as an enlarged prostate or prostatitis, treating the underlying condition may help relieve the symptoms.
Health Risks of Orchitis
If left untreated, orchitis can cause serious long-term health risks. These include a decreased fertility, increased risk of testicular cancer, and an increased risk of infection. Long-term, untreated orchitis can also lead to pain and swelling in the scrotum and groin area.
If you think you may have orchitis, contact your healthcare provider right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term complications.