Orchitis is inflammation of the testicles caused by a viral or bacterial infection . This condition can occur in one or both testicles . Generally, orchitis occurs due to sexually transmitted diseases or mumps. If not handled properly , orchitis can cause infertility .

Apart from being caused by sexually transmitted diseases and mumps, orchitis can also occur due to the development of epididymitis , which is inflammation of the sperm ducts located behind the testes.

Even though it can cause permanent damage such as infertility , complications that can arise due to orchitis can be prevented by following the treatment given by a doctor.

Causes of Orchitis

As previously mentioned, orchitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection. The following is the division of types of orchitis based on the cause:

Bacterial orchitis

Several types of bacteria that often cause orchitis, namely:

  • Escherichia col i
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus

These three types of bacteria are also the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections , epididymitis, prostatitis , and sexually transmitted diseases .

Viral orchitis

Viral orchitis is most often caused by viruses that cause mumps called paramyxoviruses . Viral orchitis most often affects boys under the age of 10. This type of orchitis usually appears 4–6 days after the mumps attack.

Apart from being caused by bacterial and viral infections, orchitis can also appear for no apparent reason. However, these cases are rare.

Orchitis risk factors

Several factors that can increase a person's risk of developing orchitis are:

  • Over 45 years old
  • Not getting the MMR vaccine
  • Suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Suffering from benign prostate enlargement
  • Born with an abnormal urinary tract
  • Using a catheter in the urinary tract for a long time
  • Have had genital or urinary tract surgery
  • Have had or are currently suffering from a sexually transmitted infection

The risk of orchitis can also increase if you often have risky sex, such as changing partners, not using condoms during sex, or having sex with people with sexually transmitted diseases.

Symptoms of Orchitis

Symptoms of orchitis usually appear suddenly. These symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The body gets tired easily
  • Swelling of one or both testicles
  • Testicles feel heavy
  • Pain in the groin area
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Pain when urinating , having sex, and ejaculating
  • There is blood in the sperm

In addition to the several complaints above, orchitis that occurs due to mumps can cause other symptoms, namely swelling of the parotid gland. The parotid gland itself is a gland located at the bottom of the face.

When to see a doctor

Immediately consult a doctor if you experience the symptoms mentioned above, especially if the testicles experience sudden swelling and pain.

Pain in the testicles can signal symptoms of some more serious conditions, such as a twisted testicle ( testicular torsion ). Therefore, inspection and treatment must be carried out immediately.

Diagnosis of orchitis

The doctor will ask questions about the symptoms experienced and the patient's medical history. Next, the doctor will do a physical examination to see testicular swelling or enlarged lymph nodes in the groin.

To make a diagnosis, doctors can also carry out supporting examinations, such as:

  • Urine test , to detect the presence of bacteria that cause infection
  • Blood test , to find out whether the patient is infected with HIV/AIDS or syphilis
  • Testicular ultrasound , to see if there are abnormalities in blood flow in the testicles
  • Examination of penile fluid samples, to detect the type of bacteria that infect the testicles, as well as to see if the patient has a sexually transmitted disease

Orchitis Treatment

Treatment for orchitis aims to relieve symptoms, treat the infection, and prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body. Orchitis treatment methods will be adjusted to the cause. Here's the explanation:

Treatment for bacterial orchitis

Drinking antibiotics are given for consumption for 10 days. The type of antibiotic will be adjusted to the bacteria that cause orchitis. If the complaints and symptoms of orchitis are severe enough, the doctor will give injectable antibiotics.

If the orchitis is caused by a sexually transmitted disease, the patient's partners should also be examined and treated.

Treatment for viral orchitis

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, will be given to reduce inflammation and pain due to orchitis. This type of drug is generally given to patients with viral orchitis.

To help relieve symptoms, patients are encouraged to take the following steps:

  • Take paracetamol to relieve fever and pain.
  • Compress the testicles with an ice pack wrapped in a cloth for 15–20 minutes a day.
  • Use special pants that can support the testicles.
  • Do not have sex until the orchitis has cleared up.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects for a while.
  • Enough rest.

Orchitis complications

If left untreated, orchitis can cause serious complications, such as:

  • Decreased production of the hormone testosterone ( hypogonadism )
  • A blister or collection of pus (abscess) forms in the testicle
  • Reducing testicular size (testicular atrophy)
  • Inflammation of the sperm storage site (epididymitis)
  • Permanent damage and death of testicular tissue
  • Testicular torsion
  • Infertility

Prevention of Orchitis

Prevention of orchitis can be done by making the following efforts:

  • Make sure you get the MMR vaccine to prevent mumps
  • Use a condom during sexual intercourse if you are not sure that your partner is clean of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Do not have free sex or have multiple sex partners
Back to blog