What Leads To Orchitis & Can It Be Cured?

What Leads To Orchitis?

Orchitis is composed of two words, ‘ orchi ‘ means testis and ‘ itis ‘ means inflammation. So the combined definition becomes the inflammation of the testis. It can occur due to a variety of causes but usually, viruses are the most common causative organisms for it. Out of the viruses, mumps virus is the most common cause of orchitis in the world. Other nonspecific inflammatory changes can also be responsible for orchitis. Bacterial infections are also known to cause inflammation of testis especially Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Escherichia coli, chlamydia, etc.

According to a study, mumps is a common viral infection caused under 15 years of age usually and out of which 20% of the boys suffer from orchitis. It is usually unilateral in nature and bilateral involvement of testis is rare. According to the same study done on orchitis and its causes, the 20% boys which suffer from orchitis shows testicular atrophy in about 60% of the cases which is a significant number. Although, it does not cause sterility but may cause it in a few of the rare cases.(1)

Bacterial causes of orchitis such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Escherichia coli are also responsible for the involvement of epididymis in the inflammation collectively known as epididymo-orchitis. These bacteria can sometimes also involve the prostate gland causing prostatitis. Escherichia coli is most commonly found in the younger age group that is below 14 years or elder age group that is above 35 years whereas Neisseria gonorrhoeae is found in the adult age group that is between 14 to 35 years. Chlamydia group of organisms more commonly causes orchitis in sexually active males of younger age group.(2)

Can Orchitis Be Cured?

Orchitis is either viral or bacterial in causation and it is possible to cure it. The viral causes of inflammation usually do not require any medical form of treatment but only the symptomatic treatment is sufficient and the symptoms subside within 3 to 10 days. If the cause for orchitis is bacterial then antibiotics are preferred because they can kill bacteria efficiently and relieve the symptoms in a shorter period. They also help to reduce complications like pus formation, gangrene formation, etc.

Anti-inflammatory groups of drugs commonly nonsteroidal in origin like paracetamol, Ibuprofen, ketorolac, etc can be given to subside the symptoms such as fever, redness, pain, etc. Antihistamine drugs are also helpful because they work by reducing the inflammatory mediators ( most commonly histamine ) at the site of inflammation.

About 40% of the adolescents who have got orchitis from the mumps undergo complete cure without any residue damage to the testis whereas in 50 – 55 % of cases they may undergo slight testicular atrophy which may not lead to any long term side effects. Only about 1 – 2 percent of the cases may suffer from sterility after the disease has regressed. So in most cases, only the symptomatic treatment is sufficient.

Conclusion

Orchitis stands for inflammation of testis. It may be viral or bacterial in origin but generally, it is viral in origin especially due to mumps virus. Few of the bacterial causes are also known for causing orchitis like Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Escherichia coli, chlamydia but they usually are associated with inflammation of epididymis also known as epididymitis. Orchitis is the second most common complication of mumps virus after the parotitis or inflammation of the parotid salivary gland.

If the condition is diagnosed early and appropriate treatment is done, the recovery from the disease is nearly 100 % that means the complete cure is present with just the symptomatic treatment of the condition. In the case of bacterial orchitis, appropriate antibiotics can be given based on the sensitivity and culture of the organism which can be detected from the simple blood test.

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