Acute epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. This is a structure that surrounds and attaches to each testicle. It is shaped like a tube. The epididymis helps transport and store sperm cells.
Chronic epididymitis causes discomfort or pain in the epididymis. It can last for three months or longer. This type is less common.
This condition is most often caused by a bacterial infection. For example:
Other causes include:
Only men can develop this condition. Risk factors include:
Children and newborns can get epididymitis. It is not necessary to have a urinary tract infection.
Symptoms usually develop within one day. These include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your scrotum. This can be done with ultrasound.
Treatment is essential to prevent the infection from worsening. Treatment may include:
The following steps can help decrease your risk:
National Kidney Foundation
Urology Care Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guide: 2006. MMWR. 2006;55. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2006/rr5511.pdf. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Hori S, Sengupta A, et al. Long-term outcome of epididymectomy for the management of chronic epididymal pain. J Urol. 2009 Oct;182(4):1407-1412.
Santillanes G, Gausche-Hill M, et al. Are antibiotics necessary for pediatric epididymitis? Pediatr Emerg Care. 2011 Feb 19.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.