Acute epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. This is a structure shaped like a tube that surrounds and attaches to each testicle. The epididymis helps transport and store sperm cells.
Chronic epididymitis causes pain and inflammation in the epididymis. There is often no swelling of the scrotum. Symptoms can last for six weeks or more. This type is less common, though.
This condition is most often caused by a bacterial infection. For example:
Other causes include:
Only men can develop this condition. Risk factors include:
Symptoms usually develop within a day. These include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical exam. Tests may include:
Treatment is essential to prevent the infection from worsening. Treatment may include:
Do not have sex until you and your partner have completed treatment.
If you are diagnosed with epididymitis, follow your doctor's instructions .
The following steps can help decrease your risk:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Kidney Foundation
Canadian Health Network
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
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 February 5, 2008.
Konety BR. Epididymitis. eMedicine website. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com . Accessed February 2, 2006.
The Merck Manual Diagnosis & Therapy . 17th ed. Rahway, NJ: Merck & Co; 1999.
Last reviewed November 2008 by
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.
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