Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Epididymitis: What You Should Know


Am Fam Physician. 2016 Nov 1;94(9):online.

See related article on epididymitis

What is epididymitis?

The epididymis is a tube attached to the back of the testicles that holds the sperm. If you have epididymitis, the epididymis is tender and swollen. Your scrotum may also be red and swollen, usually on one side, and it may hurt to urinate.

What causes it?

In adults, epididymitis is usually caused by bacterial infections. This could be a sexually transmitted infection or caused by bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract.

What should I do if I think I have it?

You should see your doctor right away if you have pain or swelling in your scrotum. Your doctor can test your urine to see if you have an infection.

How is it treated?

Your doctor will decide the best type antibiotic for you depending on your age and other factors. Taking over-the-counter pain medicine or icing your scrotum may help with discomfort.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mayo Clinic

U.S. National Library of Medicine

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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