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Orchitis : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Testicular inflammation, or also known as orchitis, is a condition in which inflammation occurs in one or both testicles. This condition can be caused by bacterial infections or viral infections that cause mumps.

Inflammation of the testicles due to bacteria can be caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially gonorrhea and chlamydia. Inflammation of the testicles due to bacteria often occurs after epididymitis, which is inflammation of the epididymis or the channel behind the testicles that stores and transports sperm. Under these conditions, this is called epididymoorkitis.

This condition can cause pain and affect fertility. Treatment can overcome the causes of inflammation of the testes due to bacteria and relieve the signs and symptoms of inflammation of the testicles due to viruses. However, it generally takes several weeks for complaints to the scrotum to subside completely.

Causes and Risk Factors of Orchitis

Testicular inflammation can be caused by infection from bacteria or viruses. Sometimes, the cause of testicular inflammation can also be unknown.

In inflammation of the testes caused by bacteria, this condition often occurs after epididymitis arises. Epididymitis is generally caused by urinary tract infections in the urethra or bladder that spread to the epididymis.

In addition, this infection can also be caused by STIs. Other causes are urinary tract abnormalities or a history of catheter placement or other medical devices into the penis.

In inflammation of the testicles caused by viruses, this condition is generally caused by a virus that causes mumps. About one-third of men who experience mumps after puberty also experience inflammation of the testicles, generally 4 to 7 days after the onset of mumps complaints.

Many viruses and bacteria can cause orchitis. When viewed from the cause, orchitis can be divided into three, namely:

  • Idiopathic orchitis. Is a type of orchitis that is not known for certain causes.
  • Bacterial Orchitis. The bacteria that most often cause orchitis are Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. The bacteria that causes epididymitis can also be the cause of orchitis. In men who are sexually active, bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases can cause orchitis.
  • Viral orchitis. Viruses are the main cause of orchitis. This type of orchitis is most common in boys less than 10 years old.

Some risk factors associated with the occurrence of testicular inflammation are:

  • Not getting immunizations that protect from mumps
  • Having recurrent urinary tract infections
  • History of surgery involving the genitalia or urinary tract
  • Has a congenital urinary tract disorder
  • Some sexual behaviors, including having multiple sexual partners, having sexual relations with a partner who has an STI, or having a history of STIs

Symptoms of Orchitis

Signs and symptoms of testicular inflammation generally occur suddenly and can include:

  • Swelling and pain arise in one or both testicles at once. In addition, the testicles will also be more sensitive to touch.
  • Fatigue.
  • Moderate to severe pain in the testicles.
  • Headache.
  • Fever.
  • Pain in the groin.
  • The presence of blood in sperm fluid.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Pain when urinating, during sex, and when ejaculating.
  • Discomfort in the testicles.

Orchitis caused by mumps virus infection will usually appear 4 to 7 days after a person has mumps. If you feel a sensation of pain or swelling in the scrotum, immediately see a doctor to consult.

Diagnosis of Orchitis

To establish a diagnosis of inflammation of the testicles, the doctor can begin by conducting a medical interview followed by a physical examination. Physical examination aims to check for enlarged lymph nodes in the groin and enlargement of the testicles.

Doctors can also do rectal examinations to check for prostate enlargement. Afterwards, some of the supporting examinations that can be carried out are:

  • Examination of STIs. This involves examining fluid samples from the urethra, for further evaluation to observe gonorrhea or chlamydia.
  • Urine examination. The results of collected urine can be further evaluated to observe abnormalities of appearance, concentration, or urine content.
  • Ultrasonography (USG). This imaging examination can be used to get rid of the torsion or twisting of the testicles. An ultrasound examination with a color Doppler can determine whether blood flow is decreasing, which indicates the presence of testicular torsion, or increases, which can confirm the diagnosis of inflammation of the testicles.

Treatment of Orchitis

Management of testicular inflammation depends on the cause. In bacterial inflammation of the testicles, antibiotics can be used to treat the condition. If the cause of inflammation of the testis is STI, sexual partners also need treatment.

Make sure that antibiotics are spent according to the amount prescribed by the doctor. It takes several weeks for the pain to subside completely. Resting, using a scrotal buffer, doing cold compresses, and taking anti-pain medications as prescribed by a doctor can help overcome the discomfort that arises.

In inflammation of the testicles due to viruses, treatment is aimed at dealing with complaints. Doctors can recommend the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, scrotal elevation, and cold compresses to relieve complaints.

Most people who experience testicular inflammation due to viruses experience complaints about 3 to 10 days after symptoms occur, although it takes several weeks for the pain to subside completely.

Orchitis Complications

If orchitis occurs in both testes, this condition risks causing infertility and decreasing production of the hormone testosterone (hypogonadism). Some other complications that may occur in patients with orchitis are:

  • Recurrence of epididymitis (inflammation of the sperm-carrying tract).
  • Testicular atrophy (a condition in which testicular size shrinks).
  • Scrotum abscess (a condition in which infected tissue will fill with pus).

Prevention of Orchitis

There are several things you can do to prevent infections that cause orchitis, namely:

  • Always use a condom if you are not sure your partner is clean of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Consult your doctor so that you can get mumps vaccine, because this condition is the most common cause of orchitis.



1. Urologyhealth. What Are Epididimytis and Orchitis. 

2. Nataisia, T. Medscape (2017). Orchitis.

3. Banyra, O. Shulyak, A. (2012). Acute Epididymo-Orchitis: Staging and Treatment.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.