Orchitis or the medical condition in which one or both testicles become inflamed and swollen is often caused by a viral or bacterial infection. In some cases, the exact cause of orchitis can't be determined with accuracy.

What Causes Orchitis

There are two types of orchitis namely bacterial and viral. Described below are the causes of each of these.

Causes of Bacterial Orchitis

Bacterial orchitis can be caused by various bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus. Prostrate infection may appear in combination with orchitis.

In several cases, epididymitis also becomes one of the bacterial orchitis causes. Epididymitis is the condition in which the epididymis or the long, coiled tube located at the back of the testicles becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful. This tube is responsible for carrying sperm from the testicles.

Bacteria that are responsible for causing sexually transmitted diseases (STD), such as syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, can become the reason for orchitis in sexually active men.

Causes of Viral Orchitis

The most common cause of viral orchitis is the virus that causes mumps. Almost one-third of the adolescent boys who suffer from mumps after puberty can also get orchitis. The condition develops about four to seven days after the mumps infection sets in. In many such cases, orchitis leads to the development of testicular atrophy. Testicular atrophy is the condition in which shrinkage of the testicles takes place along with a loss of functions.

Risk Factors for Orchitis

There are several factors that can lead to orchitis including:

A male with many sexual partners, engaging in unprotected sex or having sex with a partner suffering from STI or with a history of STI is at high risk of contracting bacterial orchitis.

A person may be at the risk of developing non-sexually transmitted orchitis if he hadn't had proper immunization against mumps.

Bacterial or viral infections aren't the only things that can cause the condition. The risk for orchitis also increases if a person is born with congenital urinary tract abnormalities. A person who has undergone surgery that involves the urinary tract or the genitals, or has a catheter placed into the bladder frequently also has a high risk of developing orchitis.

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