Background: The purpose of this study was to develop a candidate symptom index for men with an established diagnosis of chronic orchialgia.
Methods: Based on interviews with patients and providers, we developed a 70-item questionnaire that focused on seven areas of orchialgia symptoms: pain, location, urinary symptoms, sexual dysfunction, medical history and quality of life (QOL) impact. The questionnaire was completed by patients at two medical centers. Cluster analysis was performed with the software package R (3.2.1).
Results: A total of 113 men completed the survey. Median symptom duration was 12 months (range, 3-336 months). Outside the testicle, pain was felt in the spermatic cord (66%), groin (66%), penis (24%), suprapubic region (38%), flank (31%), thigh (32%), abdomen (36%) and perineum (35%). Bother scores were high only for testicle and spermatic cord pain. Urinary frequency was common (54%) but not bothersome. Sexual dysfunction was common: 55% had erectile dysfunction, 56% had decreased libido and 39% had painful ejaculation with high bother for all. By cluster analysis, QOL parameters clustered tightly with minimal pain level, pain at night, burning pain, distribution to spermatic cord and groin, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Conclusions: Men with chronic orchialgia have a high incidence of associated symptoms. Most bothersome symptoms with highest QOL impact include burning pain, pain at night, radiation to groin and spermatic cord, erectile dysfunction and low libido. Based on these findings, we have created a candidate orchialgia symptom index with domains of pain, sexual symptoms and QOL that will undergo prospective validation.
Keywords: Orchialgia; chronic pain; chronic scrotal content pain; testicular diseases; testicular pain.