Orchitis is best described as a painful inflammation of the testicles. Both testicles may be affected at the same time, but the symptoms usually occur in just one. The condition can be caused by either bacteria, or a virus.
In the beginning, orchitis causes a localized area of pain and swelling in the testicle, with the infection spreading to engulf the entire testicle, as well as the other testicle, and groin area.
Pain in the testes and groin area is the main symptom of orchitis, but there are other issues which may point to the condition:
A visit to the doctor can establish whether you have bacterial or viral orchitis.
A bacterial infection is the most common cause of orchitis and it can be picked up in the following ways:
These are all possible causes of a bacterial case of orchitis which responds to antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory meds. The good news is that no matter how bad the inflammation may have been, you will recover, although it might take several weeks to be absolutely clear of the infection.
Viral orchitis is mainly caused by the mumps virus. Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus which is passed from one person to another through personal contact, saliva, and nasal secretions. The main symptom of mumps is the swelling of the salivary glands which makes eating and drinking difficult and painful.
There are a number of complications associated with mumps, including the condition known as viral orchitis, which affects 1 in 4 men who get mumps after puberty. Some men who are afflicted with viral orchitis may notice a slight shrinkage of the testicles, while others will experience a drop in sperm count, which unless there are complications, is not enough to cause infertility.
There is no real cure for viruses – they just have to run their course, but the symptoms can be managed. Fortunately, due to the advent of the measles vaccine, the risk of contracting viral orchitis is greatly reduced.
Diagnosis is fairly simple to find out whether you have orchitis.
The treatment for bacterial orchitis is also simple, mainly by means of anti-inflammatory meds, pain killers, and antibiotics. There are no long-term complications.
It is important to note that you must abstain from sexual intercourse while undergoing treatment for bacterial orchitis.
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