Epididymitis is the painful swelling and inflammation of the epididymis—the long, coiled duct behind each testicle that stores and transports sperm. Epididymitis can be caused by a bacterial infection, which typically begins in either the urethra (the tube that runs through the penis) or the prostate (the walnut-sized gland that surrounds part of the urethra). The infection then spreads into the epididymis.

Sexually active men in their 20s and 30s are most commonly affected by epididymitis. However, it can afflict men of all ages. When you see a doctor for epididymitis, they will examine your testicles and take a urine sample. If the infection is bacterial, they will prescribe antibiotics. In addition to antibiotics, treatment commonly includes rest, over-the-counter pain relievers and an ice pack for the scrotum. Epididymitis typically does not result in permanent damage.

Symptoms of epididymitis

When a bacterial infection occurs, the epididymis becomes swollen, red, warm and painful. Epididymitis can cause pain in one or both testicles; however, it usually occurs in only one testicle. The infection can last up to six weeks