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Orchitis is inflammation of the testicles that may occur in one or both testicles. It can cause pain and may affect fertility.
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Orchitis is often caused by an infection from:
In some cases, the cause may be unknown.
Factors that may increase your chances of orchitis include:
Behaviors that increase the risk of STIs also increase the risk of orchitis. High-risk behaviors include:
Orchitis causes testicular pain with swelling. Other symptoms include:
Viruses and bacteria may also cause body-wide symptoms such as fatigue, fever, nausea, and headache.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A diagnosis may be made based on an exam of the testicles, scrotum, and groin area.
Testing is done to confirm the cause and to rule out testicular emergencies, especially testicular torsion. Signs of infections and the exact virus or bacteria involved can be determined with:
An ultrasound may be done to check the testicles and nearby structures for damage.
Treatment depends on the cause of orchitis.
A viral infection will gradually pass on its own. Comfort measures, such as over-the-counter medications to reduce pain and fever, may be advised.
Antibiotics will be prescribed if a bacterial infection is present.
If other treatments do not work or there is risk of damage, surgery may be needed. The goal of surgery is to reduce pain and prevent further damage.
To help reduce your chance of orchitis:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Public Health Agency of Canada
Acute epididymitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114552/Acute-epididymitis. Updated October 6, 2017. Accessed March 16, 2018.
Epididymitis and orchitis. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/epididymitis-and-orchitis. Accessed March 16, 2018.
Orchitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/penile-and-scrotal-disorders/orchitis. Updated November 2017. Accessed March 16, 2018.
Trojian TH, Lishnak TS, et al. Epididymitis and orchitis: an overview. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79(7):583-587.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD Last Last updated: 6/17/2016