What is orchitis?

Orchitis or also called bacterial orchitis or viral orchitis, depending on the source of infection, is a disorder secondary to a viral or bacterial infection in men, where one or both of the testicles suffer from swelling that is associated with inflammation. of the epididymis, accompanied by pain. (1)

In simpler terms, orchitis is inflammation of one or both testicles due to a bacterial or viral infection, in which testicular atrophy occurs.

Note: Commonly this disorder usually appears after the man has been infected by another person with a sexually transmitted infection.

For this to happen, the man has been exposed to certain risk factors such as promiscuity, not using a condom for high-risk sex, having several sexual partners or not being vaccinated against mumps.

What causes orchitis?

Next, we present the most common causes that can trigger orchitis in men:

1. Bacterial and viral infections

The first cause of the appearance of orchitis is a bacterial infection from contact with people contaminated with diseases such as chlamydia , gonorrhea or syphilis, whose ravages are reflected in different parts of the urogenital organs, including the testicles.

Likewise, orchitis can be caused by an infection by the mumps virus , which also affects the testicle. (two)

To highlight: In both cases you should see a doctor immediately , since these sexually transmitted infections are of high risk for patients.

2. Use of urinary catheter

Another way to acquire orchitis is due to a urinary tract infection due to the use of a urinary catheter, in those cases where an obstruction has occurred that prevents the patient from urinating. (3)

You should know: To detect urinary tract infections as a possible cause of orchitis, a urinalysis is used.

3. Urinary tract abnormalities

Other causes can also give rise to orchitis, such as abnormalities in the urinary tract, which can lead to infections.

Such is the case of diseases such as urethritis, nephrosis, pyonephrosis in its different forms, are some of the forms of anomalies that can cause urinary tract infections, affecting the testicles.

What symptoms does orchitis present?

Orchitis presents a characteristic symptomatology,  which we mention below:

1. Testicular pain and inflammation

Both the epididymis (tube in the testicle that stores sperm) and the spermatic condom undergo changes in their morphology due to inflammation as a response from the immune system, caused by the infection and consequently testicular pain appears .

2. Pain when urinating and ejaculating

During infections, the urinary tract, and also the ducts that carry sperm, suffer narrowing due to inflammation of their tissues, causing difficulty in urinating or ejaculating, as the case may be, causing that very annoying burning sensation.

3. Presence of blood in the semen

Urinary tract and sexual organ infections in men cause inflammation because the immune system irrigates a greater amount of blood in the affected area , which may cause some blood vessels to break and at the time of ejaculation, this blood joins the semen.

4. Fever

Orchitis caused by any type of infection causes an immune system response that consists of increasing body temperature ( fever ) so that the bacteria and viruses that cause this disorder have less chance to survive.

How is orchitis cured?

Here are some strategies and tips for treating orchitis:

1. Medications prescribed by a specialist

The first recommendation is to attend the consultation with a specialist doctor, who will do a review and general evaluation to indicate the most appropriate pharmacological strategy for your case.

Note: Antibiotics are usually prescribed for infection, antipyretics to reduce fever, and anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling in the sexual organs and urinary tract.

2. Cold compresses and rest

Another at-home strategy is the use of cold compresses on the scrotum to relieve pain and swelling caused by the infection until the prescribed medications take effect.

To highlight: Additionally , it is necessary to rest, since the testicles receive the pressure of bodily effort, an aspect that is not recommended when suffering from orchitis.

Key Findings

  • Orchitis is inflammation of one or both testicles , caused by a sexually transmitted infection or a viral infection.
  • Orchitis may be associated with inflammation of the epididymis, which is where sperm are stored and transported.
  • Orchitis can also be caused by the use of a urinary catheter or by abnormalities present in the male urinary tract.
  • Orchitis is characterized by the presence of pain, inflammation and fever , in addition to hypertrophy of the testicle.

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