Very funny title I must say, referring to my previous post: Mumps: a mysterious swelling on the cheek or what? where I gave a detailed explanation about mumps, a swelling on the cheek region of the face caused by mumps virus which affects the parotid glands, also giving detailed explanation of the causes, symptoms, complications, treatment, etc. Please do well to check out the post.
I found out lately that Mumps not only affects the parotid glands as stated in my previous post but affects other extra-salivary glands for instance mumps in the testes(Orchitis), the Ovaries( Oophoritis), the pancreas( Pancreatitis), amongst others but my major concern today would be the Mumps in the Human male Testes( Viral Orchitis).
I came across this discovery when I was reading a novel, I got to a chapter that spoke about the outbreak of mumps in a particular household having 2 daughters and a son. The son being the last to get infected, got infected with mumps on his testes after being infected at the parotid glands. This made me curious and brought about this research. Hold on tight to your seatbelt let’s enjoy this research voyage together.
What is Mumps in the testes?
Mumps is a viral infection that affects the salivary glands(parotid glands), making it to swell and this swelling is obvious in the cheek region of the face.
In rare cases, after the mumps occurs, a slight swelling in the testes may arise in males, and this can occur 6-8 days after the Mumps encounter and it is known as Testicular Mumps or Viral Orchitis; An inflammation that affect one or both of the testicles, making the scrotum tender and painful.
Testicles are oval-like glands in the male reproductive organ enclosed in a sac-like skin called the scrotum. So when the testicles start swelling due to Orchitis, a tenderness and pain is felt when the scrotum or scrotal sac is touched.
Causes of Viral Orchitis
Orchitis is a consequence of bacterial or viral infection and in some cases, the causes are unknown. Mumps being in the viral category is a major cause of Orchitis caused by the Mumps Virus(MuV). Not being immunised against mumps at a young age could also increase the tendency of encountering Orchitis as a male.
Why did the virus attack the testes of all places?
The Mumps Virus( MuV) like all other viruses have affinity to places in the host they feel they can thrive and in most cases the areas that have lymph nodes which contain immunity cells.
These cells help fight infections in form of germs carried into the body through lymph fluids, making it easier for the body immune system to attack and eradicate them.
Virus, being aware of this, attack these immune cell(soldiers of the body) so they can infiltrate the entire body system with no barrier.
The testes happens to be one of those sites with massive amount lymph nodes that MuV have affinity to.
Research shows that the MuV affects the majority of testicular cells including Leydig cells(LC), Testicular macrophages, Sertoli cells(SC) and germ cells(GC) and these cells all contribute to the production of testosterone and of course its immunity as well.
Symptoms of Viral Orchitis
The symptoms may vary from mild to severe cases;
Mild symptoms include;
- Tenderness in the Scrotum
- Inflammation or swelling of the Scrotum
- Nausea and vomiting
- General feeling of unwellness
Severe symptoms include;
- Painful Urination
- Painful Ejaculation
- Presence of Blood in the urine(Hematuria)
- Presence of Blood in the semen(Hematospermia)
- Occurrence of Abnormal discharge
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
These symptoms may vary from one individual to another, some experience the mild symptoms more than the severe while some the severe than the mild and in few cases all symptoms.
Complications/Effects of Viral Orchitis
- Scrotal Abscess: is the collection of pus in the Scrotum
- Testicular atrophy: A condition wherein the testicles gradually reduce in size or shrink.
- Hydrocele(the build-up of fluid in the scrotum causing it to swell).
- Infertility; in rare and severe cases.
To know how to treat this ailment, one must first know its source which can be bacterial or viral, cause the treatment for both varies. For bacterial orchitis, which is mostly a consequence of STIs, medical personnel may have to administer certain antibiotics e.g Ciproflaxin and Cefalexin for its treatment whereas for viral orchitis, treatment is shown below:
Treatment of Viral Orchitis
- Adequate Bedrest
- Use of Scrotal support; This helps to prevent sagging testicles from bouncing freely( this inflicts more pain) so it creates a slight compression that keeps the scrotum in place. You can say it serves as bra for the scrotum, LOL 😆
- Use of Analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs against pain and fever e.g non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibufrofen and Naproxen.
- Use of cold packs
The above are supportive procedures used, there is no cure for Orchitis, It tends to fade off on its own after 10 days to 3 weeks. But these supportive procedures help to ease pain and improve comfort during this period.
Prevention of Viral Orchitis
- Immunization using MMR(Measles, Mumps and Rubella) Vaccine to prevent the occurrence of Mump virus that leads to Orchitis. This is normally administered at a tender age but adults can also be vaccinated to prevent Orchitis.
This is the primary preventive measure for Viral Orchitis.
The occurrence of viral Orchitis and bacterial Ochitis(which can be prevented by practising safe sex) will be on increase majorly because of lack of information or misinformation about it so we try to get people informed so prevention would be made possible and healthier living would be a reality.
Hope this article was insightful?😊, do well to upvote and leave your comments in the comments section. Thanks for being part of this voyage, till next time, Bye for now.