What is Epididymitis Orchitis?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2018
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Epididymitis orchitis is an inflammation of one or both testes along with the epididymis, a structure that stores and matures sperm. This condition is usually the result of an existing infection in the urinary tract or around the genitals, although it can sometimes be a surgical complication. Treatment depends on killing the organisms causing the inflammation and providing the patient with supportive care to address pain and soreness.

Urinary tract infections can lead to epididymitis orchitis when a patient experiences urine blockages and organisms are able to enter the vas deferens, the tube connecting the testes and the penis. Sexually transmitted infections can be a cause, as can mumps, a relatively rare disease now that patients receive vaccinations to prevent it. Symptoms may take several days to appear and can include heat, swelling, pain, and difficulty urinating.

A doctor will evaluate the patient to determine which infectious organisms are present so the patient can receive the correct medications. Antibiotics and antiviral drugs are both available to manage epididymitis orchitis. The patient may also benefit from using ice packs to address the pain and swelling. Some patients need bed rest because movement is uncomfortable, and others may wear supportive undergarments to reduce tension on the testes.


Most patients make a full recovery and should be able to return to normal activity levels. One potential complication of epididymitis orchitis is reduced fertility. If this is a concern, a patient can see a fertility specialist for evaluation. Abscesses can also develop if the infection is persistent, and some patients experience recurrent infections that may develop into chronic inflammation. Rarely, tissue damage associated with the inflammation causes part of the testes to die, and the patient will need surgery to remove the dead tissue.

There are some steps available to reduce the risks of getting epididymitis orchitis. Practicing good hygiene is very important to keep the area clean and healthy, reducing the possibility of infections. Patients with sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections should get treatment as soon as possible. Following treatment directions is important to limit the chance of complications, and if patients do not experience an improvement in their symptoms, it is advisable to return to the doctor and request another evaluation. The doctor may need to prescribe a different medication if the patient has an antibiotic-resistant infection. This will reduce the risks that the infection will spread to the testes.



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