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Orchitis

Orchitis

Most cases of orchitis caused by bacteria require antibiotics. If you suspect that you have the disease, or notice redness, swelling, pain, or inflammation of the scrotum or testicle, call your health care provider immediately. Do not delay medical care.

Go to a hospital's emergency department if you are unable to contact or see your doctor promptly, or if symptoms worsen despite antibiotic treatment.

Self-Care at Home

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

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 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 keep the swelling (and pain) down.
Follow-up

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 your symptoms worsen at any time during treatment.

Prevention

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.

Outlook

For half of the men who have orchitis, the affected testicle will shrink and lose its function. The longer you delay getting treatment, the more likely the testicle will have long-term damage. Untreated orchitis can result in infertility, loss of 1 or both testicles, and severe illness or death.

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