Epididymo-orchitis is the inflammation of the epididymis and/or testicles.
The epididymis is located at the back of the testicles and is responsible for storing and transporting sperm. Orchitis refers to the inflammation of the testicle itself. This inflammation typically occurs from an infection, such as a urinary infection, or through sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but can also result from a viral infection such as mumps.
Epididymo-orchitis in male fertility
Epididymo-orchitis causes pain in the testicles and negatively affects male fertility. As the epididymis is responsible for storing and transporting sperm, inflammation to it can hinder sperm health. The testicles are responsible for the production of sperm and hormones, such as testosterone. Consequently, orchitis reduces testicular function, increases temperature in the scrotum, and hinders the production of sperm.
Causes of epididymo-orchitis
There are a few common causes of epididymo-orchitis in patients. Typically, this inflammation is caused by urinary infections or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Mumps used to be a common cause for epididymo-orchitis, but is no longer prevalent, due to immunization from a young age. This condition can also be caused by surgery to the prostate or the urethra that allows bacteria to enter the testicles. Much like mumps, this has become uncommon due to sterile surgery procedures.
Symptoms of epididymo-orchitis
Common symptoms of epididymo-orchitis include fever, nausea, swelling of one or both testicles, vomiting, and testicular pain. It is recommended that anyone experiencing testicular pain consult a specialist promptly. Doctors can conduct an STI test, a urine test, and an ultrasound to diagnose the root cause of epididymo-orchitis. Antibiotics can then be administered to combat any infection and treat epididymo-orchitis.Back to Glossary