Michelle Badash, MS
Acute epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. This is a structure that surrounds and attaches to each testicle. It is shaped like a tube. The epididymis helps transport and store sperm cells.
Chronic epididymitis causes discomfort or pain in the epididymis. It can last for three months or longer. This type is less common.
This condition is most often caused by a bacterial infection. For example:
Other causes include:
Only men can develop this condition. Risk factors include:
Children and newborns can get epididymitis. It is not necessary to have a urinary tract infection.
Symptoms usually develop within one day. These include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. He or she will do a physical exam. Tests may include:
Treatment is essential to prevent the infection from worsening. Treatment may include:
Do not have sex until you and your partner have completed treatment.
If you are diagnosed with epididymitis, follow your doctor's
The following steps can help decrease your risk:
National Kidney Foundation
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Health Network
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
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 guidelines 2006: epididymitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2006/epididymitis.htm. Updated April 12, 2007. Accessed July 15, 2010.
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 February 5, 2008.
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.
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Last reviewed September 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
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.
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