Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Alternative Name: Orchiditis, testitis.
Orchitis is a medical condition in which both testicles are inflamed accompanied by pain, fever, swelling, and heavy sensation in the affected area.
The testicles (testes) are part of the male reproductive system. The testicles are two oval organs about the size of large olives. They are located inside the scrotum. The testicles make the male hormones, including testosterone and produce sperm (male reproductive cells). Disorders of the testes can lead to serious complications, including hormonal imbalances, sexual dysfunction and infertility.
Orchitis may be a result of bacterial or viral infections. The most common virus infection that leads to orchitis is the mumps virus. Many boys who suffer mumps also experience orchitis symptoms within the same timeframe. Other causes of orchitis include sexually transmitted disease (STD), urinary tract infections (UTI), unsafe sexual practices, and wearing improper or unhygienic groin guards when playing sports among others.
Several risk factors that may contribute to the development of orchitis are the following:
Reoccurring urinary tract infections.
High-risk sexual activities that may cause sexually transmitted diseases can also be a potential cause of sexually transmitted orchitis. These sexual behaviors include having sexual intercourse without the use of condoms; sexual intercourse with STD infected partners and multiple sexual partners.
Did not have mumps immunization.
Symptoms may include:
Induration of the testis.
Erythematous scrotal skin.
Edematous scrotal skin.
One or both of your testicles may appear tender, swollen, and red or purple.
Associated systemic symptoms:
Fever and chills.
Differential diagnosis may include:
Torsion of the testicular appendage.
Your health care provider may perform a series of diagnostic tests. They may include:
A sample of discharge taken from the urethra, the tube that forms the opening at the end of the penis, identifies which bacteria are responsible for the infection. Your doctor will use a cotton-tipped swab, and the procedure is not uncomfortable.
Blood is drawn to test for HIV and syphilis if a sexually transmitted disease is suspected.
With a rectal exam, your doctor checks your prostate for infection. This test is necessary because antibiotic treatment will be used for a longer period of time if the infection involves the prostate.
An ultrasound of the inflamed testicle or both can tell the difference between orchitis and testicular torsion, another painful condition.
A course of antibiotics is usually advised as soon as orchitis is diagnosed. These normally work well. Pain usually ceases within a few days, but swelling may take a week or so to go down, sometimes longer. The choice of the antibiotic depends on the underlying cause of the infection. Common side effects of antibiotics include upset stomach and diarrhea.
Applying a cold compress to the scrotum also helps reduce the inflammation. It also soothes any irritation you might be experiencing. Practice good hygiene and use mild soaps when bathing and wash undergarments in mild detergents; this helps ease the irritation.
It is recommended that individuals suffering from orchitis drink a cup of dandelion tea every day. The tea helps ease swelling. Ancient and traditional schools of medicine also recommend herbs like Echinacea, Caltrop and Yellow Duck as a remedy for orchitis. These are available in forms of tinctures and capsules. They possess strong antibiotic, immune enhancing, and antibacterial properties.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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