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Inflammation of the Testicle (Orchitis) (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Orchitis

Individuals who experience testicular pain, redness, or swelling should promptly seek medical care and evaluation. Do not delay medical care as other emergency conditions, such as testicular torsion (twisting of the spermatic cord), are also characterized by testicular pain and tenderness. If the affected male is unable to promptly see his health care practitioner, go to an emergency department. Also, if the person has been evaluated and their condition continues to worsen, they should seek medical care.

Orchitis Diagnosis

Generally speaking, the diagnosis of orchitis can be established after a history and physical exam have been performed by a health care practitioner. However, imaging studies and laboratory testing may be undertaken to evaluate and exclude other medical conditions which may present with similar symptoms to those of orchitis.

  • An ultrasound of the affected testicle(s) may be ordered to exclude other conditions (for example, testicular torsion, abscess, or epididymitis) which may cause similar symptoms.
  • With a rectal exam, a health care practitioner can check the prostate gland for infection. This test is necessary because antibiotic treatment will be used for a longer period of time if the infection involves the prostate gland.
  • A sample of discharge taken from the urethra, the tube that forms the opening at the end of the penis, may be obtained to identify which bacteria are responsible for the infection if a sexually transmitted disease is suspected.
  • Blood work and a urinalysis may be obtained depending on the patient's symptoms.

Orchitis Self-Care at Home

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

  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin, for example) or naproxen (Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help with pain. Narcotic pain medications may be prescribed at the discretion of the health care practitioner if pain is severe.
  • Elevating the scrotum with snug-fitting briefs or an athletic supporter can increase comfort.
  • Apply ice packs to the scrotal area.
    • Ice should not be directly applied to the skin because this may cause burns from freezing. Rather, the ice should be wrapped in a cloth and then applied to the scrotum.
    • The ice packs may be applied for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day for the first 1-2 days. This will help reduce the swelling (and pain).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/1/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Orchitis »

Orchitis is an acute inflammatory reaction of the testis secondary to infection.

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