Get immediate medical treatment if you develop sudden, severe scrotal pain or swelling, especially within several hours of an injury to your scrotum. This may indicate testicular torsion, an emergency medical condition.
If you have other symptoms common to epididymitis, call your doctor. After your initial appointment, your doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in urinary tract and male sexual disorders (urologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you've been experiencing, and for how long.
- Note possible sources of infection. These may include engaging in unprotected sex, having multiple sex partners or having sex with a new partner.
- Make a list of your key medical information, including other conditions you're being treated for and the names of any medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking. Tell your doctor if you are taking a heart medication called amiodarone.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
For suspected epididymitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do I have epididymitis?
- Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What tests do you recommend?
- Should my partner be tested for STIs?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- Should my partner also be treated?
- How soon after I begin treatment can I expect improvement?
- When can I safely resume sexual activity?
- Am I at risk of complications related to epididymitis?
- If I have an underlying infection, how can I reduce the risk of passing it to others?
- I have these other medical problems. How can I best treat them together?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in-depth. Your doctor may ask:
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first develop symptoms?
- Do your symptoms seem to come and go?
- Do your symptoms include discharge from your penis?
- Have you ever noticed blood in your semen?
- Do you have pain in your lower abdomen?
- Do you have pain during intercourse or when you ejaculate?
- Do you have a frequent or urgent need to urinate?
- Does it hurt when you urinate?
- Do you practice safe sex?
- How many sexual partners have you had?
- Have you ever been tested for STIs?
- Has your partner been tested for STIs?
- Do your hobbies or work involve heavy lifting?
- Have you had one or more prostate or urinary tract infections in the past?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other prostate conditions?
- Have you ever had surgery in or near your urinary tract, or had surgery that required the insertion of a catheter?
- Are you taking any medications?
What you can do in the meantime
While you wait for your appointment, avoid all sexual contact that could put your partner at risk of contracting an STI. This includes sexual intercourse, oral sex and any skin-to-skin contact with your genitals. Let your sex partner or partners know about your signs and symptoms, so they can also seek testing.
Nov. 02, 2011
- Nickel JC. Inflammatory conditions of the male genitourinary tract: Prostatitis and related conditions, orchitis, and epididymitis. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed Aug. 15, 2011.
- Fort GG. Epididymitis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed Aug. 15, 2011.
- Yin S, et al. Diagnosis and management of testicular torsion, torsion of the appendix testis, and epididymitis. Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 2009;10:38.
- Trojian T, et al. Epididymitis and orchitis: An overview. American Family Physician. 2009;79:583.
- Schneck FX, et al. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed Aug. 15, 2011.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 29, 2011.