How do guys get epididymitis?

Epididymitis is inflammation of the testicular tube caused by sexually transmitted infections, other infections, blockage in the urethra, medication side effects or trauma.
Epididymitis is inflammation of the testicular tube caused by sexually transmitted infections, other infections, blockage in the urethra, medication side effects or trauma.

Epididymitis (inflammation of the testicular tube) is common in young men between the ages of 19 and 35 years old. Men often get epididymitis for various reasons that include

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as
  • Other infections such as
    • Urinary tract bacteria, such as E. coli or similar, especially in children and elderly
    • Tuberculosis bacteria
    • Ureaplasma urealyticum bacteria
    • Mumps virus
  • Chemical epididymitis (a condition when the urine flows backwards into the epididymis, possibly due to heavy lifting or straining)
  • Blockage in the urethra (a tube that carries the urine from your body) due to a stone or narrowed opening
  • Certain medicines such as amiodarone
  • Trauma or groin injury

Several risk factors may increase a person’s risk of epididymitis.

  • Sexually active men who have multiple sexual partners, do not use condoms during intercourse, practice anal sex and have intercourse with partners with STIs may be prone to epididymitis.
  • For men who are not sexually active, the following issues may lead to an episode of epididymitis
    • Recent surgery or medical procedure to the urinary tract such as ureteroscopy (examination of the upper urinary tract by inserting a tube into it)
    • Structural problems in the urinary tract
    • Hypospadias (urinary opening at the wrong place)
    • Long-term use of a catheter (a tube that drains the urine)
    • Enlarged prostate (a gland in men that surrounds part of the urethra)
    • History of urinary tract infection (UTI)
    • Varicocele or dilated veins over the testis

What is epididymitis?

The epididymis is a long, coiled tube attached to the back of the testicles/testes (these produce and store sperm). It collects and carries the sperm from the testes to the tube behind the bladder (vas deferens). When this tube gets tender, swollen and inflamed, it is called epididymitis.

What are the symptoms of epididymitis?

Usually, this happens on one side of the testicle. It may last up to six weeks if left untreated. If you are a man, see a doctor if you have one or more of the following possible symptoms

Is epididymitis curable?

Yes, it is curable with anti-inflammatory medicines and antibiotics. If there is a precipitating cause such as urinary tract infection (UTI) or prostate issues, it might need to be treated to prevent a recurrence. Your doctor will suggest the best type of an antibiotic regimen for you, depending on your age and other factors. They will prescribe antibiotics depending on the cause of the disease such as

  • Sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea
    • Ceftriaxone single injection along with doxycycline tablets twice daily for 10 days
  • Enteric (intestine) bacterial infection
  • Sexually transmitted chlamydia and gonorrhea and enteric organisms (in the case of anal sex)
    • Ceftriaxone single injection along with levofloxacin tablets once for 10 days or
    • Ofloxacin tablets twice a day for 10 days
  • Tuberculosis infection
    • A course of four antibiotics will be prescribed for six months daily.

The doctor may also prescribe some pain-relieving medicines or suggest icing your scrotum to resolve the discomfort.

What are the complications of epididymitis?

If the infection does not resolve or is left untreated, then epididymitis may lead to

  • Epididymo-orchitis (spreading of the infection to the testicles)
  • Pus formation in the scrotum
  • Impotency (rare)

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Medically Reviewed on 1/27/2021
References
Medscape Medical Reference

Mayo Clinic


Cleveland Clinic


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


American Family Physician