Know the basics
What is epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
Epididymis is the tube at the back of your testicles which leads sperms from the testicles to the uretha. Epididymitis is a condition where the epididymis is inflamed from infection or from other conditions.
Epididymitis is mostly caused by bacterial infections or by a sexually transmitted infection (STIs). A testicle can also be infected, which is called epididymo-orchitis.
How common is epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
Epididymitis is extremely common in males. It commonly affects them at the age between 19 and 35 and it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
The common symptoms of epididymitis are:
- Painful and swollen epididymis;
- Mild fever;
- Frequent or painful urination;
- Discharge from the penis;
- Pain and tenderness in the testicle;
- Painful intercourse;
- Blood in the semen.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you notice any scrotal pain, swelling or any of the symptoms above, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
Know the causes
What causes epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
The causes of epididymitis depend on your age and behavior, they include:
- STIs (sexually transmitted infection): the main cause of epididymitis on young men is from gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- Infections: other non-sexually transmitted bacterial infection can also cause epididymitis, the bacteria can locate from the infected site to the epididymis if you are having urinary tracts or prostate infections.
- Amiodarone (Pacerone) is a heart medication causing epididymis inflammation.
- Urine in the epididymis (chemical epididymitis) happens when there are the backward urine flows due to heavy lifting or straining.
- Trauma may be as a result from a groin injury.
- Tuberculosis infection: this is a rare cause.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
There are many risk factors for epididymitis, such as:
- If you are uncircumcised.
- If you have unsafe sex without condom or with a partner with STIs.
- You have tuberculosis.
- You have problems with the urinary tract.
- You just had urinary tract surgery or a groin injury.
- You are using a urinary catheter.
- You are using amiodarone.
- Your prostate enlarge.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will start with a physical examination to check the testicles or the groin area and any abnormal changes such as discharge from the penis. They may take a sample of discharge to test for STIs.
Some other tests to diagnose epididymitis are:
- Urine and blood tests: the sample will be collected to check for any irregularities.
- Ultrasound: this imaging test will rule out testicular torsion and other conditions. This test helps your doctor to see clearly your body parts and find the exact causes.
How is epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis treated?
Epididymitis can be treated by using medication to kill the bacteria or to control the underlying condition. Some common medications are:
- Pain relievers;
- Anti-inflammation medications.
Surgery is needed if the epididymis needs to be removed or to rule out other underlying causes.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with epididymitis:
- Get plenty of bed rest;
- Avoid sexual intercourse with other people to prevent the infection from spreading;
- Avoid lifting heavy objects;
- Wear supportive athletic gear if you play heavy impact sports;
- Find a comfortable position to elevate you scrotum and apply ice packs to reduce swelling.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017