What is epididymitis?

Epididymitis is the inflammation (swelling) of the epididymis, a structure in the male reproductive organs that joins the testis and the vas deferens. Inflammation of the epididymis may result in scrotal swelling, pain, penal discharge, blood in the semen, and fever.

Epididymitis is a common urological disease in men and is the most common cause for scrotal pain. It is most commonly seen in men who are 19 to 35 years of age. In this age group, most cases result from the sexually transmitted infections gonorrhea and chlamydia. Escherichia coli is the most common cause of epididymitis in older men (Source: NIH).

Epididymitis often develops as a result of a bladder or urethral infection that moves to the epididymis. In children, mumps and other viral infections may cause epididymitis. In rare cases, retrograde movement of urine is responsible for chemical epididymitis. The heart medication amiodarone has also been associated with epididymitis.

The signs and symptoms of epididymitis may begin slowly and worsen significantly within a day. The disease course varies among individuals, as some boys and men with epididymitis have no symptoms at all, while others may have severe swelling, pain and discharge. Epididymitis is generally treated with antibiotics.

In some cases, symptoms that seem to suggest epididymitis are actually from a serious condition called testicular torsion. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for a rapid, severe onset of testicular pain or scrotal swelling and nausea with or without vomiting.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for epididymitis but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.


SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of epididymitis?

Epididymitis causes inflammation of the epididymis and may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Common symptoms of epididymitis

At times any of these common symptoms of epididymitis can be severe:

CAUSES

What causes epididymitis?

Epididymitis is the inflammation (swelling) of the epididymis, a structure in the male reproductive system. Most cases result from the sexually transmitted infections gonorrhea and chlamydia. Escherichia coli is the most common cause of epididymitis in older men, but other types of bacteria, including Mycobacterium and Ur... Read more about epididymitiscauses

TREATMENTS

How is epididymitis treated?

Treatment for epididymitis begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. It is important to follow your treatment plan for epididymitis precisely and take all of your medications as instructed.

The goal of treatment for epididymitis is to alleviate the infection, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain, swelling and Read more about epididymitistreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Male Reproductive System