The epididymis is a looped tube that sits on the back of the testicle. The tube stores sperm and makes a path for sperm to pass out of the body. Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. It may be:
Epididymitis is most often caused by an infection but can also be caused by an injury.
Sometimes the cause is not clear,
Only men can develop this condition but it can affect males of any age.
Infections that may lead to epididymitis include:
Other problems that may increase the risk of epididymitis include:
Symptoms will depend on the cause but can include:
Symptoms of Chronic epididymitis may start more gradually.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Epididymitis may be suspected based on the physical exam. To find a cause or look for other health issues the doctor may also test:
Images may be also taken of your scrotum. This can help confirm the diagnosis and look for any other abnormalities. This can be done with ultrasound.
Treatment is important to prevent permanent damage. The specific treatment will depend on the cause. Options include:
The following steps can help decrease your risk:
National Kidney Foundation
Urology Care Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Acute epididymitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114552/Acute-epididymitis. Accessed May 23, 2016. Accessed September 23, 2016.
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 August 31, 2015.
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 September 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
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.