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 can tell 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 sample of discharge may be taken from the urethra, the tube that forms the opening at the end of the penis, to identify which bacteria is responsible for the infection. Your doctor will use a cotton-tipped swab, and the procedure is not uncomfortable.
- 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 such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin, for example) or naproxen (Aleve) and 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 the swelling (and pain) down.
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 required if the prostate also 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.
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 50 years should have their prostates examined during their yearly physical exams.