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Orchitis and Epididymitis


Dr. Green
Inflammation of the testicles is called orchitis, and inflammation of the coiled tube that lies behind each testicle is called epididymitis. Both of these conditions can cause testicular pain. Dr. Patel, what else can you tell us about orchitis and epididymitis?

Dr. Patel
Well, Dr. Green, inflammation of these organs is often the result of an infection. Many types of bacteria and viruses can cause infection and inflammation.

The most common cause of epididymitis and orchitis in men younger than 35 years of age is a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. The most common cause in men over the age of 35 is E. coli.

Symptoms of infection and inflammation can include:

  • Pain and swelling of the testicle or scrotum
  • Blood in the semen
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Feeling of heaviness in the testicle area
  • Pain during urination or ejaculation, and
  • Groin pain

If orchitis or epididymitis is not diagnosed and treated, it can produce scar tissue that prevents sperm from leaving the testicle. This can cause fertility problems, especially if both testicles are involved or if the man has recurring infections.

Orchitis and epididymitis caused by bacteria are treated with antibiotics. Bed rest, ice to reduce swelling, a scrotal supporter, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain medications may relieve some symptoms.