Orchitis is a condition in which the testicles of the adult male are inflamed as the result of the contraction of a virus or bacterial infection. Often, the condition is associated with the onset of mumps at some point after the individual has reached adulthood. This health issue may affect one or both testicles, and does have the potential to result in infertility if not treated in time.
With bacterial orchitis, the condition is often the result of an infection or inflammation related to the epididymis, the tube that provides the connection between the testicle and the vas deferens. The infection is often the result of the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea, where the bladder or urethra has also been infected. Assuming the infection is diagnosed quickly, it is possible to cure the inflammation before it has a chance to do permanent damage to the vas deferens or the testicle.
Viral orchitis comes about due to the adult male developing mumps. The virus can spread to the region of the testicles and begin to cause swelling and inflammation that leaves the testicles tender to the touch. Not all men who contract mumps will develop viral orchitis; if the testicles have not become swollen and tender within four to six days after the appearance of the mumps, then there is very little chance the condition will develop.
When either form of orchitis is present, the male will experience a feeling of tenderness in one or both of the testicles. The swelling can range from minor to a significant amount that stretches the scrotal sac noticeably. In terms of pain, the man may experience anything from mild discomfort to bursts of pain that are severe in nature.
Nausea and running a temperature are not uncommon with orchitis. There is also the possibility of a discharge to appear, especially if the urethra is infected. Blood may also appear in the semen.
The usual course of treatment for orchitis is to first identify the underlying health issues that led to the development of the condition, and treating those issues. This may involve a combination of over the counter pain relievers and prescription medication that will help to soothe inflamed tissue and bring the infection under control. As the underlying health conditions are successfully dealt with, the swelling will begin to subside, as well as the tenderness.
As with many viruses and infections, it is important to continue taking all medication until the attending physician says to do so. Often, there will be a lingering degree of infection even though the outward signs have disappeared. Taking the medication for the entire treatment series will help to kill off the remnants of the infection and ensure the orchitis is completely cured.