Orchitis and Epididymitis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Explained
At Urology of Greater Atlanta, we specialize in men’s health, including diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In this article, we will provide comprehensive information about two common conditions that affect the male reproductive system: Epididymitis and Orchitis. We will cover the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for these conditions.
If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms related to orchitis or epididymitis, our board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta are here to provide expert care. We offer several treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.
Our locations can be found throughout Greater Georgia. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
What Are Epididymitis, Orchitis, and Epididymo-orchitis?
Epididymitis refers to the inflammation of the epididymis, the coiled tube that carries sperm and is located at the back of the testicles. On the other hand, Orchitis refers to the inflammation of the testicles.
Epididymo-orchitis is a combined condition where both the epididymis and testicles are inflamed. These conditions can cause significant discomfort and require immediate medical attention.
Epididymitis may present with the following symptoms:
- Scrotal pain
- Testicular or groin pain or discomfort
- Swelling and tenderness of the testicles
- Redness or warmth in the scrotum
- Painful or frequent urination
- Discharge from the penis
- Blood in the semen
Orchitis shares similar symptoms, which may include:
- Swollen and painful testicles
- Redness and warmth in the scrotum
- Fever and chills
- Generalized body aches and fatigue
Causes of Epididymitis and Orchitis
Epididymitis and orchitis can be caused by various factors, including the following:
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Bacterial infections, such as Chlamydia trachomatis infection or Neisseria gonorrhoeae, can be transmitted through sexual activity and lead to epididymitis and orchitis.
- Non-Sexually Transmitted Infections: In some cases, a urinary tract infection or infections from other parts of the body can spread to the reproductive system, causing epididymitis or orchitis. For example, the mumps virus can cause mumps orchitis. Men are more likely to get a UTI if they have an enlarged prostate gland.
- Trauma or Injury: Injuries to the groin or testicles can trigger inflammation.
Diagnosis of Epididymitis and Orchitis
When you visit Urology of Greater Atlanta, our experienced doctors will conduct a thorough physical examination and review your medical history. They may recommend the following diagnostic tests:
- Urine and Blood Tests: These tests can help identify the presence of infection and assess the overall health of your reproductive system.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound can visualize the testicles and epididymis, enabling the doctor to identify any abnormalities or signs of infection.
In all cases of epididymitis, your doctor should check for spermatic cord (testicular) torsion, which is a surgical emergency.
How to Treat Epididymitis and Orchitis
Treatment options for epididymitis and orchitis typically include:
- Antibiotic Treatment: If a bacterial infection is the underlying cause, appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed to target the specific bacteria responsible.
- Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain medicine or prescribed pain medications can help alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation.
- Rest and Scrotal Elevation: Resting, elevating the scrotum, and applying cold packs can provide relief and promote healing.
Tuberculous epididymitis is more serious but is very rare. It is treated with anti-tuberculous drugs.
Completing the full course of antibiotics, even if symptoms subside, is important to ensure complete eradication of the infection. Follow-up appointments may be necessary to monitor your progress and address any concerns.
Book an Appointment with an Expert Urologist
At Urology of Greater Atlanta, your reproductive health is our priority. If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of epididymitis or orchitis, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Our board-certified doctors are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating these conditions, ensuring you receive the care you need.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our multiple locations throughout Georgia! Remember, early intervention leads to better outcomes for your reproductive health. Stay informed, stay proactive, and let us be your trusted partner in maintaining your well-being.
FAQs About Orchitis and Epididymitis
Below, you will find some of the most frequently asked questions that men have about orchitis and epididymitis. Please reach out to our doctors if you have more questions or concerns about these conditions.
Can Epididymitis and Orchitis Be Sexually Transmitted?
Yes, epididymitis and orchitis can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection.
Are There Any Complications Associated with These Conditions?
In rare cases, untreated epididymitis or orchitis can lead to testicular infarction, where blood flow to the testicles is compromised. Prompt treatment can help prevent such complications.
Can Epididymitis and Orchitis Be Prevented?
Practicing safe sex, maintaining good hygiene, and seeking early treatment for urinary tract infections can help reduce the risk of developing these conditions.
What Are the Potential Consequences of Untreated Epididymitis?
Failure to treat epididymitis in a timely manner can lead to serious complications. If left untreated, epididymitis can progress to chronic epididymitis, which may result in the formation of an abscess on the scrotum. Additionally, it can cause damage to the epididymis, leading to infertility. In certain instances, the infection can also spread to other areas of the body.
Our urologist team operates out of several offices and a surgical center to serve the needs of all Northern Georgia residents.