Overview of Epididymitis

Epididymitis refers to the inflammation of epididymis that is responsible for storing and releasing sperms. The condition is caused by bacterial infection and is treatable.

Signs and Symptoms of Epididymitis

Epididymitis disease refers to swelling and inflammation of epididymitis, which is a series of coiled tubes that accumulate and carry the sperms. Epididymitis is swelling of these tubes, which causes pain and inflammation in testicle.
One of the most prominent symptoms of the disease is pain in scrotum which may be due to bacterial infection. This bacterial infection is a secondary infection which is activated by sexually transmitted disease (STD) causing organisms i.e., Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis.
Epididymitis can take place in men of any age but usually it has been observed among sexually active males. The infection can be treated with antibiotics.

Types of Epididymitis

Some of the common signs and symptoms of epididymitis include:

  • Inflamed, red or warm testicles
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Sensation of heaviness in affected testicles
  • Pain and burning with urination along with urgent and frequent need to urinate
  • Pain in the lower part of abdomen
  • Discharge from penis
  • Blood in urine and semen
  • Slight fever
  • Chill

Causes of Epididymitis

There are two major types of epididymitis, including:

  • Acute Epididymitis: This type of epididymitis develops suddenly and the symptoms of disease lasts for less than 6 weeks.
  • Chronic Epididymitis: In chronic epididymitis, symptoms are usually mild and start slowly. The overall duration for the problem is more than 6 weeks.
  • Pediatric Epididymitis: Another form of epididymitis which occurs in children thus classified as pediatric epididymitis.

Risk Factors of Epididymitis

Some of the common causes of epididymitis include:

  • Bacterial infection, commonly STD sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, it can be caused by non-sexually transmitted infection, such as urinary tract infection (UTIs)
  • Trauma or injury can also be a cause of epididymitis
  • Heavy lifting sometimes can cause a type of epididymitis that is characterized by reverse flow of urine in epididymis
  • Rarely tuberculosis can also cause epididymitis.



The people are at higher risk for epididymitis because of following reasons:

  • They are uncircumcised
  • Have congenital urinary or bladder problem
  • Having unprotected sex
  • Have tuberculosis
  • Have enlarged prostate which may cause blockage in bladder
  • Having infection in prostate gland
  • Have recent urinary surgery or groin injury
  • Use urinary catheter
  • Use heart medication called amiodarone

Complication of Epididymitis

If epididymitis is not treated properly it may lead towards certain complications. These include:

  • The inflammation may be consistent in case of chronic epididymitis, even if there is no longer infection.
  • A ball of pus assembles in epididymis or nearby tissues called abscess. Thus, surgery is needed to remove pus.
  • Inflammation can damage the tissues of epididymis if infection is prolonged, cells may destroy and result in infertility.
  • Infection can be spread from one region of the body to the surrounding structures.


Treatment of Epididymitis | When to Consult a Doctor

When it comes to the diagnosis of epididymitis, here are a few things that can help;

  • Physical Examination: During examination, any inflammation of testicle, swelling of lymph nodes in groin areas along with abdominal discharge from penis is monitored. If there is an outflow of material, doctors collect it with the help of cotton swabs and use it as a sample for a test.
  • Rectal Examination: This procedure help to see if an enlarged prostate has caused this current condition
  • Image Testing: Imaging techniques such as testicular examination etc. can help with the visualization of problem
  • Blood Test: Common blood tests such as a CBC (complete blood count), to determine whether there’s an infection in body
  • Urine Testing: Urine sample analysis can help with the confirmation of urinary tract infection or an STI