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What is epididymitis?

Epididymitis is an inflammatory condition of the epididymis, which is a tube that carries sperms from the testis to the penis. The epididymis gets irritated or swollen. This condition can occur at any age, but is most common between 14 and 35 years.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Symptoms that usually occur include:

What are the main causes?

The most common cause is an infection due to C. trachomatis or N. gonorrhoeae, which often spread by sexual intercourse. Other infections that can cause epididymitis include mumps (a viral infection) and tuberculosis (a bacterial infection). In children, elderly men and people who engage in anal intercourse, it is usually caused by the bacteria E. coli. Some drugs can also cause epididymitis. Epididymitis may occasionally occur due to backflow of urine because of heavy lifting. If it is not treated, it can lead to accumulation of pus in the scrotum. It can also lead to fertility issues in men.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Physical examination is done to check for any tenderness or lump. Urine test may be done to identify any bacterial infection. Ultrasound may be ordered to further examine the scrotal area.

Other tests may include:

  • Complete blood count
  • Blood tests for chlamydia and gonorrhoea

Treatment mainly involves the use of antibiotics based on the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Self-care tips:

  • Take ample amount of rest
  • Lie down with the scrotum elevated to relieve discomfort
  • Apply ice packs to the area, as tolerated
  • Increase the intake of fluids
  • Pain-relieving medicines help ease the pain

Preventive measures include:

  • Use of condoms during intercourse
  • Completely avoid lifting heavy weights till resolution of condition
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time

If sudden severe pain occurs, then it should be considered a medical emergency and immediate medical attention should be sought.

  1. Medicines for Epididymitis
  2. Doctors for Epididymitis
Dr. Sarfaraz Pathan

Dr. Sarfaraz Pathan

Dermatology
6 Years of Experience

Dr. Krishna Bhalala

Dr. Krishna Bhalala

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Dr. Deepti Shukla

Dr. Deepti Shukla

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Dr. Ragini Puvvala

Dr. Ragini Puvvala

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References

  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Epididymitis
  2. Cleveland Clinic. [Internet]. Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, United States; Epididymitis.
  3. Adrian Pilatz. et al. Acute and Chronic Epididymitis. European Association of Urology. Arnhem, Netherlands. [Internet].
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Epididymitis
  5. Rupp TJ, Leslie SW. Epididymitis. [Updated 2019 May 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-.
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