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Orchitis

Epididymo - orchitis; Testis infection

Orchitis is swelling (inflammation) of one or both of the testicles.

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Male reproductive anatomy
Male reproductive system

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Causes

Orchitis may be caused by an infection. Many types of bacteria and viruses can cause this condition.

The most common virus that causes orchitis is mumps. It most often occurs in boys after puberty. Orchitis most often develops 4 to 6 days after the mumps begins.

Orchitis may also occur along with infections of the prostate or epididymis.

Orchitis may be caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. The rate of sexually transmitted orchitis or epididymitis is higher in men ages 19 to 35.

Risk factors for sexually transmitted orchitis include:

Risk factors for orchitis not due to an STI include:

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

A physical exam may show:

Tests may include:

Treatment

Treatment may include:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Getting the right diagnosis and treatment for orchitis caused by bacteria can most often allow the testicle to recover normally.

You will need further testing to rule out testicular cancer if the testicle does not completely return to normal after treatment.

Mumps orchitis cannot be treated, and the outcome can vary. Men who have had mumps orchitis can become sterile.

Possible Complications

Some boys who get orchitis caused by mumps will have shrinking of the testicles (testicular atrophy).

Orchitis may also cause infertility.

Other potential complications include:

Acute pain in the scrotum or testicles can be caused by twisting of the testicular blood vessels (torsion). This is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgery.

A swollen testicle with little or no pain may be a sign of testicular cancer. If this is the case, you should have a testicular ultrasound.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

See your health care provider for an exam if you have testicle problems.

Get emergency medical help if you have sudden pain in the testicle.

Prevention

Things you can do to prevent the problem include:

Related Information

Testes
Mumps
Epididymitis
Brucellosis
Chlamydia
Infertility

References

Mason WH. Mumps. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 248.

McGowan CC, Krieger J. Prostatitis, epididymitis, and orchitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 112.

Nickel JC. Inflammatory and pain conditions of the male genitourinary tract: prostatitis and related pain conditions, orchitis, and epididymitis. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 13.

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Review Date: 1/31/2019  

Reviewed By: Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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