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Epididymitis and Orchiepididymitis

The testicles are the pair of organs contained in the sac located below a man's penis. The epididymis is the coiled canal located at the top of each testicle, where sperm arrive from the testicle and are stored. Doctors use the suffix "-itis" to mean that an organ is inflamed. For example, inflammation of the testicle is called orchitis.

Epididymitis is the painful inflammation of the epididymis.

Orchiepididymitis is the painful inflammation of the epididymides and testicles.

  • Epididymitis and orchiepididymitis usually start with a bacterial infection.
  • Doctors treat these diseases with antibiotics.

Epididymitis and orchiepididymitis are usually caused by a bacterial infection. Infection can be caused by:

  1. Surgery.
  2. A urinary catheter (a flexible rubber tube that the doctor inserts into your penis and bladder to drain urine).
  3. A urinary tract infection.
  4. Sometimes a sexually transmitted disease.

Sometimes you can have epididymitis or epididymo-orchidism without having an infection. Doctors believe this may be due to urine flowing in the opposite direction and causing irritation.

Symptoms of epididymitis and orchiepididymitis are:

  1. Swelling and tenderness near one of the testicles.
  2. Pain, which may be constant and severe.
  3. Sometimes nausea and vomiting.
  4. Sometimes fever.

Pain due to epididymitis usually sets in gradually. Pain due to orchiepididymitis usually sets in more quickly.

If you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you may also have other symptoms, such as discharge (clear, yellow, or green fluid coming out of your penis).

Epididymitis and orchiepididymitis usually get better faster with treatment. But sometimes the inflammation can come back or last for several weeks (chronic epididymitis).

How can doctors tell if I have epididymitis or epididymitis?

Doctors suspect epididymitis or orchiepididymitis based on a physical examination. In general, they also conduct:

  1. Urinalysis to check for possible infection.
  2. Sometimes an ultrasound, to make sure a testicle has not twisted (testicular torsion).

Doctors advise:

  1. To take antibiotics.
  2. To take painkillers.
  3. To rest as much as possible.
  4. Use ice packs on the painful area.
  5. To wear a jockstrap (athletic support) to support your testicles.

If the infection gets worse and you have an abscess (presence of pus), your doctor will perform surgery to drain the pus.