The testicles are the pair of organs that sit in the sac below a man's penis. The epididymis is the coiled tube on top of each testicle where sperm are moved from the testicle and stored. Doctors use the term "itis" to mean that an organ is inflamed. For example, orchitis means inflammation of the testicle.
What are epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
Epididymitis is painful inflammation of the epididymis.
Epididymo-orchitis is painful inflammation of both the epididymis and testicle.
Epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis usually start from a bacterial infection
Doctors treat these disorders with antibiotics
Male Reproductive Organs
What causes epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
Epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis are usually caused by a bacterial infection. The infection can be caused by:
A urinary catheter (a soft rubber tube that the doctor puts through your penis and into the bladder to let the urine out)
Sometimes, you can get epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis without having an infection. Doctors think this may be caused by some urine flowing backward and causing irritation.
What are the symptoms of epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
The symptoms of epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis are:
Swelling and tenderness near one of the testicles
Pain, which can be constant and severe
Sometimes, feeling sick and throwing up
Pain from epididymitis usually comes on gradually. Pain from epididymo-orchitis usually comes on more rapidly.
If you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you may also have other symptoms, such as a discharge (clear, yellow, or green fluid coming out of your penis).
Epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis usually get better fast with treatment. But sometimes inflammation can happen again or last several weeks (chronic epididymitis).
How can doctors tell if I have epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis?
Doctors suspect epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis based on a physical examination. They'll usually also do:
A urine test to look for infection
Sometimes, ultrasound, to be sure that you don't have a twisted testicle (testicular torsion Testicular Torsion The testicles are the oval-shaped pair of organs that sit in the sac below a man's penis. The testicles make sperm. Sperm are stored in the epididymis, which is a coiled tube on top of each... read more )
How do doctors treat epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis?
Doctors will have you:
Take pain medicine
Rest as much as needed
Use ice packs on the painful area
Wear a jockstrap (athletic supporter) to support your testicles
If the infection gets worse and you have an abscess (collection of pus), your doctor will do surgery to drain the pus.