Epididymitis is an infection or inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is a tube at the upper part of each testicle that carries sperm to the tube called the vas deferens, which takes the sperm out. Epididymitis is curable with treatment.
- Antibiotics will be given for a bacterial infection.
- Over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen can help pain.
- Stronger medicine may be needed for moderate to severe pain.
- Scrotal rest is advised, including getting pressure off this area by leaning back as if sitting in a lawn chair.
- An ice pack on the area will help swelling and discomfort.
- A rolled towel under the scrotum helps support and elevate it and reduces swelling and pain. Pain usually begins to go away 1 to 3 days after starting antibiotics or scrotal rest.
- Sex should be avoided for several days after symptoms go away.
- In rare cases, surgery may be needed for complications of infection.
Your healthcare provider will ask about symptoms and examine the penis and scrotum. He/she may order a urinalysis and a blood test to look for infection, as well as take a sample of discharge from the penis, to be checked with a microscope. A sonogram (ultrasound) of the painful testicle may be done to exclude other causes of the pain and swelling.
- Tenderness in the scrotum.
- Burning feeling when urinating.
- Discharge from the penis.
- Pain during sex.
- Swelling may last for several days.
The cause is often unknown. Some causes may include:
- The cause is usually a bacterial infection or long-term pressure on the epididymis.
- Bacteria from a urinary tract or prostate infection can spread to the testicles.
- In sexually active men, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is often the cause.
- Pressure epididymitis occurs after sitting too long, such as when driving a car or riding a bicycle for long periods.
- Injury and urinary tract blockage are other causes.
- Rest until fever, swelling, and pain improve.
- Put a soft, rolled towel under the scrotum while in bed.
- Apply an ice pack to the scrotal area.
- Wear an athletic supporter when your activity increases.
- Take antibiotics until they are finished.
- Take nonprescription pain medicine.
- Use condoms to prevent STD infection.
- Call your healthcare provider if you get a high fever during treatment, if nonprescription drugs don’t control your pain, or if you become severely constipated.
- Call your healthcare provider if your symptoms don’t improve in 3 or 4 days after you start treatment.
- Do not skip doses or stop your antibiotics even if you feel better.
- Avoid having sex for several days after symptoms go away.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.