Epididymitis

Epididymitis is inflammation and infection of the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm (epididymis). Epididymitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection but also may occur following a urologic procedure. Sexually transmitted diseases cause most cases of epididymitis in men younger than age 35.

Epididymitis usually starts suddenly. Symptoms can include pain, scrotal swelling, painful or frequent urination, and fever or chills.

Bacterial epididymitis is treated with antibiotics. Other treatments for epididymitis may include bed rest, ice packs, scrotal support with a jock strap, and pain medicine.

A person with symptoms of epididymitis should avoid sexual intercourse until he sees a health professional. This will reduce the risk of spreading a possible infection to his sex partner or partners. It is important for sex partners to be evaluated and treated for a possible infection.

Last Updated: October 15, 2009

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology & Theresa O'Young, PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy

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