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Do Orchitis and Epididymitis Decrease Fertility?

testes during epididymo-orchitis

Orchitis is the condition attributed to the inflammation of one or both male testicles. The cause of the swelling can be bacterial or viral. A bacterial cause which leads to orchitis is epidiymitis. It’s generated by the inflammation of the coiled tube, epididymis, found at the back of the testis. This tube’s role is to store and transport sperm. If epidiymitis isn’t treated in time it can also cause testicle swelling and lead to epididymo-orchitis, as presented in the nearby image. Epidiymitis is usually caused by urinary tract infection. On the other hand, a viral cause for orchitis is Mumps.

Orchitis Symptoms
It’s important to recognize the first symptoms of orchitis and seek for treatment. Besides the main symptom which is testicle swelling, the sufferer usually also experiences pain in the scrotum which is accentuated while walking. Fever and in rare causes sickness and vomiting. Most symptoms of orchitis last for about 7 days, however the swollen testis could need months to recover.
In case of epidiymitis, which is far more occurring than orchitis, symptoms differ a little. The skin of the scrotum turns red and feels hot. Pain can reverberate until the stomach and cause vomiting. Fever is occurring with chills. Epidiymitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection coming from the bladder.

Orchitis Treatment
If you experience a sudden pain and or inflammation in your scrotum, consider visiting your doctor especially if pain persist for a few hours and did not appear immediately after sexual intercourse (an accidental injury).
Depending of the orchitis type treatment is divided in:
1. Bacterial Orchitis Treatment
Because this condition is caused by an infection, antibiotics will be prescribed by your doctor. If the infection cause is a STD (sexual transmitted disease), the same treatment has to be followed by your partner. Make sure that you take all antibiotics, no matter if symptoms heal sooner. Bacterial orchitis should heal in a little over a week, although a strange sensation in the scrotum can persist for much longer.
2. Viral Orchitis Treatment
This illness is caused by the Mumps disease. Around 30% of men that get mumps develop testicle inflammation as a complication. In case of viral orchitis the treatment is aimed at symptom relieving. Bed rest is recommended along with ice packs on the scrotum. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and painkillers can be ingested. This condition usually heals in 3 to 7 days.
Other useful treatment tips for orchitis recommend to elevate your scrotum while resting in bed and avoid lifting heavy weights.

Orchitis and Male Fertility
Sadly patients affected by orchitis suffer permanent damage to their testis.
Depending on the severity of this damage some men can become infertile. The good news is that infertility is caused occasionally by orchitis only if both testicles are affected by the condition. Else, it’s very rare that the damage can be so serious.
In less extreme situations the affected testicle can suffer from atrophy and shrink.
Other complications involve puss development in scrotum or often occurring cases of epididymitis.


{ 1 comment… add one }
  • samuel June 22, 2015, 8:13 pm

    hai, i had mumps with orchitis 12 months ago but my right testis shrinked and still pains today. should i get worried?

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