Orchitis is swelling (inflammation) of one or both of the testicles.
Orchitis may be caused by an infection from many different types of bacteria and viruses. It is usually a result of epididymitis, inflammation of the tube that connects the vas deferens and the testicle.
The most common virus that causes orchitis is mumps. It most often occurs in boys after puberty, and is rare before the age of 10. Orchitis usually develops 4 - 6 days after the mumps. Some boys who get orchitis caused by mumps will have shrinking of the testicles (testicular atrophy).
Orchitis can develop in men with the rare disease, brucellosis.
Orchitis may also occur along with infections of the prostate or epididymis. It may be caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STD), such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. The rate of sexually transmitted orchitis or epididymitis is higher in men ages 19 - 35.
Risk factors for orchitis not due to an STD include:
Risk factors for sexually transmitted orchitis include:
A physical examination may show:
Tests may include:
Treatments may include:
Getting the right diagnosis and treatment for orchitis caused by bacteria can usually preserve the normal testicle function.
Mumps orchitis cannot be treated, and the outcome can vary. Men who have had mumps orchitis have become sterile.
Orchitis may cause infertility and shrinking (atrophy) of one or both testicles.
Other potential complications include:
Acute pain in the scrotum or testicles can be a surgical emergency. If you have sudden pain in the scrotum or testicles, get immediate medical attention.
Call the local emergency number (such as 911) or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience sudden pain in the testicle.
Getting vaccinated against mumps will prevent mumps-associated orchitis. Safer sex behaviors, such as having only one partner at a time (monogamy) and condom use, will decrease the chance of developing orchitis as a result of a sexually transmitted disease.
Epididymo-orchitis; Testis infection