What is orchitis?


Quick Answer

Orchitis is the inflammation of either one or both testicles, according to Mayo Clinic. Causes of this inflammation include bacterial infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases, or the mumps virus.

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Full Answer

Orchitis may cause pain, and it may affect fertility, explains Mayo Clinic. Medication may help treat the cause of the orchitis and can ease some of the symptoms of viral orchitis, but it can take many weeks for the pain to disappear.

Signs and symptoms of orchitis include swelling of the testicles and pain that may last for weeks, notes Mayo Clinic. Men may also experience nausea, fever and vomiting. Any time a man feels pain or swelling of the scrotum, especially if it occurs suddenly, it is advisable to see a doctor. There are a number of conditions that can cause pain in the testicles, several of which are serious and require immediate treatment. For example, testicular torsion often has symptoms similar to orchitis, so a doctor must perform tests to see which condition is causing the pain.

Doctors typically treat bacterial orchitis with antibiotics, and if the condition is due to sexually transmitted diseases, the man's sexual partners may also require treatment, reports Mayo Clinic. It can take several weeks to treat orchitis with antibiotics. During this time, supporting the scrotum with an athletic strap, taking pain medications and applying ice can help reduce pain. The treatment for viral orchitis is similar, but a doctor may not prescribe antibiotics.

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