Epididymitis has a number of causes, including:

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs, particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia, are the most common cause of epididymitis in young, sexually active men.
  • Other infections. Boys, older men and homosexual men are more likely to have epididymitis caused by a nonsexually transmitted bacterial infection. For men and boys who've had urinary tract infections or prostate infections, bacteria may spread from the infected site to the epididymis. Rarely, epididymitis is caused by a fungal infection.
  • The heart medication amiodarone (Pacerone). In some cases, this anti-arrhythmic medication causes inflammation of the epididymis. Epididymitis caused by amiodarone is treated by temporarily discontinuing the drug or reducing the dose.
  • Tuberculosis. In some cases, tuberculosis can cause epididymitis.
  • Urine in the epididymis. Known as chemical epididymitis, this occurs when urine flows backward into the epididymis. It may occur with heavy lifting or straining.
Nov. 02, 2011