Orchitis is a painful condition in men, which is characterised by the inflammation of one or both the testicles. The foremost causes are bacterial infection and in some cases, the mumps virus or other unknown factors can prompt swelling in the genital area.
At times, a case of bacterial orchitis is accompanied by distensions in the epididymis as well, which is a convoluted loop-like structure situated at the rear end of the testicle, that houses, transports the sperm. This specific disorder is termed as epididymo-orchitis, which is one of the prominent complications that occur in men afflicted by the zoonotic bacterial infection of brucellosis.
Although orchitis can be completely cured within 1 to 2 weeks through prescription medications, it does result in persistent discomfort in the testicles, scrotum and can even trigger fertility complications if left unattended. It is hence advised to consult a doctor as soon as bulging and tenderness are experienced in the testicular region, to provide the appropriate medical care to treat and heal the instance of orchitis entirely.
Causes Of Orchitis
The main reasons for orchitis in men are two pathogenic microbial organisms – bacteria and viruses. Hence, testicular swelling is categorised into bacterial orchitis and viral orchitis.
Bacterial orchitis is prompted by epididymitis, which is an infection that begins in the urethra or bladder, which eventually traverses to the epididymis. The factors instigating this infection are mostly sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhoea, chlamydia etc. However, in certain situations, urinary tract infections (UTIs), congenital defects in the excretory passages right from birth, or surgical procedures of the penis, also cause bacterial orchitis.
The mumps virus is the main reason behind viral orchitis. A considerable proportion of teenagers who acquire the mumps ailment during puberty, either at the right age or early on as in the case of precocious puberty, invariably report symptoms of orchitis within a few days after the start of viral infection.
The distinguishing symptoms of orchitis are similar in both, bacterial and viral infection and comprise the following:
Prominent bulging and enlargement in one or both testicles
Incessant pain in the scrotum area, with redness and itching
Fever, due to pathogenic contagion
Swelling of lymph nodes in the groin
Aching in times of urination and ejaculation
Protuberances in the prostate
Irregular discharge of fluids and blood in semen
Diagnosis And Treatment
The doctor initially questions the patient about his medical history, to gauge how often urinary tract problems arise in their system. An elaborate physical exam is carried out, to look for the presence of puffed up lymph nodes in the vicinity of the reproductive organs and inflamed testicles. Furthermore, a probe of the rectum is conducted, to determine if the prostate appears distended and if the individual experiences any painful sensation and soreness in the area.
A screening analysis is organized, from a swab sample of the patient’s fluid discharge from the urethra, to evaluate if any STIs like gonorrhoea, chlamydia are the underlying cause of orchitis. In addition, a urine extract from the patient is investigated, to see if there any obvious aberrations and an ultrasound scan of the testicles is done, to establish any instances of unbearable testicular pain.
Once the diagnosis of orchitis is confirmed and the causative factor is conclusively recognized to be bacterial or viral, the physician provides the pertinent treatment.
If bacterial orchitis or epididymo-orchitis is the cause of pain in the patient, then prescription antibiotics are given and upon completing the dosage, the aching symptoms are gradually relieved, though it may take several days or even weeks.In instances of viral orchitis, the healthcare provider prescribes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, to soothe the symptoms of pain in the testicles, scrotum. Ample bed rest and application of cold packs are also recommended as effective home remedies, to pacify swelling and ensure full recovery of the patient.