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What is Epididymitis?

Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is the long coiled tube at the top and rear of each testicle. It carries sperm to the vas deferens. The vas deferens is the tube that is cut during a vasectomy to prevent sperm from mixing with the remainder of ejaculatory fluid.

See your doctor immediately if you think you have epididymitis.

What Causes Epididymitis?

Epididymitis can be caused by trauma to the scrotum, chlamydia and an infection with bacteria that are normally present in the intestinal tract. Sometimes epididymitis occurs without an infection or chlamydia.

Symptoms of Epididymitis

The most common symptoms of epididymitis are:

  • pain in the scrotum
  • swelling at the back of one of the testicles
  • fever
  • chills
  • pain during urination
  • scrotum that is hot, tender and firm to the touch
  • enlarged testes
  • blood in the semen
  • groin pain
  • pain during intercourse
  • pain during ejaculation

Can Epididymitis be treated?

Yes. The treatment will depend on the cause. If if was caused by an infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. If it was caused by chlamydia, treating chlamydia will make it go away. Other treatments are:

  • bed rest to relieve swelling
  • ice pack to relieve swelling
  • analgesic drugs for pain
  • to control swelling and inflammation
  • surgery to drain an abscess (in rare cases)

How is Epididymitis Diagnosed?

The doctor will take a urine sample and a sample of the prostate gland to determine the infecting agent.

How Serious is Epididymitis?

Epididymitis is not too serious. It can be corrected with medication and without permanent damage to the scrotum and epididymis.

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