Orchitis is swelling (inflammation) of a testicle caused by infection. This condition usually affects only one testicle, but it can occur in both. The condition can develop suddenly.
- Bacterial Infections
- These often occur along with an infection of the coiled tube that collects sperm and sits on top of the testicle (epididymis).
- In men who are not sexually active, bacterial orchitis usually starts as a urinary tract infection and spreads to the testicle.
- In sexually active men, sexually transmitted diseases are the most common cause of bacterial orchitis, including gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- Viral Infections
- Mumps is still the most common cause of viral orchitis, though mumps is now rare in many areas because of vaccination.
- Other viruses that can cause orchitis include the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus) and the virus that causes mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus).
- Boys and men who have not been vaccinated against mumps are at risk for mumps orchitis.
- Frequent urinary tract infections.
- High-risk sexual behaviors.
- Having a sexual partner with a sexually transmitted disease.
- Having had urinary tract surgery.
- Using a tube passed through the penis to drain urine (Foley catheter).
- An enlarged prostate gland.
- Swelling and pain in the scrotum.
- Feeling generally sick (malaise).
- Fever and chills.
- Painful urination.
- Painful ejaculation.
- Blood or discharge from the penis.
- Your symptoms.
- A physical exam.
- A blood test to check for signs of infection.
- A urine test to check for a urinary tract infection.
- Using a swab to collect a fluid sample from the tip of the penis to test for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Taking an image of the testicle using sound waves and a computer (testicular ultrasound).
Depending on the cause of the infection, treatment may include:
- Bacterial infections may be treated with:
- Your health care provider will most likely prescribe antibiotic medicines. Bacterial infections usually clear up within a few days.
- Viral infections and bacterial infections may be treated with:
- Bed rest.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Pain medicines.
- Elevating the scrotum and applying ice.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Rest as directed by your health care provider.
- Take medicines only as directed by your health care provider.
- If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, finish it all even if you start to feel better.
- Elevate your scrotum and apply ice as directed.
Contact a health care provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Pain and swelling have not gotten better after 3 days.
Get help right away if:
- Your pain is getting worse.
- The swelling in your testicle gets worse.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.