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Inflammation of the Testicle (Orchitis)

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider may perform a series of diagnostic tests.

  • An ultrasound of the inflamed testicle (or both testicles) can determine the difference between orchitis and testicular torsion, another painful and potentially dangerous condition.
  • With a rectal exam, your doctor checks your prostate for infection. This test is necessary because antibiotic treatment will be used for a longer period of time if the infection involves the prostate.
  • A urine sample might be taken to check for STDs and other bacteria that might be responsible for the infection.
  • Blood is drawn to test for HIV and syphilis if a sexually transmitted disease is suspected.

 

Home Remedies for Orchitis

Home care along with the right medical treatment can help improve the symptoms of orchitis.

  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin, for example), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help with pain.
  • Elevating your scrotum with snug-fitting briefs or an athletic supporter can increase comfort.
  • Apply ice packs.
    • Ice should not be directly applied to the skin because this may cause burns from freezing. Rather, the ice should be wrapped in a thin cloth and then applied to the scrotum.
    • The ice packs may be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day for the first day or two. This will help keep down the swelling (and pain).

Medical Treatment for Orchitis

The majority of cases of orchitis -- and epididymo-orchitis -- require antibiotics. Antibiotic therapy is necessary to cure the infection and prevent its spread.

  • Most men can be treated with antibiotics at home for a minimum of 10 days. Longer courses are often required if the prostate is involved.
  • If you have high fever, nausea, vomiting, or are very ill, you may require admission to a hospital for IV antibiotics.
  • Mumps orchitis will clear up over one to three weeks. Just treat your symptoms with home care techniques.
  • Young, sexually active men need to make sure all of their sexual partners are treated. You should use condoms or do not have sexual relations until all partners have completed their full course of antibiotics and are symptom-free.

 

Follow-up Care for Orchitis

Return to your health care provider at the end of your antibiotic treatment for reevaluation. Call your doctor or go to the emergency department if symptoms worsen at any time during treatment.
 

Orchitis Prevention

Choose not to have intercourse in high-risk situations where you may be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condom use reduces the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.

Men older than age 50 should have their prostates examined during their yearly physical exams.
 

Outlook for Orchitis

For some of the men who have orchitis, the affected testicle will shrink and lose its function. The longer you delay getting treatment, the more likely the testicle will have long-term damage. Untreated orchitis can result in infertility, loss of one or both testicles, and severe illness or death.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 23, 2013
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