Epididymitis symptoms depend on the cause. They can include:
- A tender, swollen, red or warm scrotum
- Testicle pain and tenderness, usually on one side — the pain may get worse when you have a bowel movement
- Painful urination or an urgent or frequent need to urinate
- Painful intercourse or ejaculation
- Chills and a fever
- A lump on the testicle
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin (inguinal nodes)
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
- Discharge from the penis
- Blood in the semen
Signs and symptoms of epididymitis usually develop over a day or two and get better with treatment. In some cases, epididymitis may not clear up completely or may recur. This is known as chronic epididymitis. Symptoms of chronic epididymitis may come on gradually. Sometimes the cause of chronic epididymitis is not identified.
When to see a doctor
Never ignore scrotal pain or swelling. A number of conditions can cause testicular pain, and some of the conditions require immediate treatment. Some conditions that cause scrotal pain or swelling can get worse or cause permanent damage if not treated promptly.
Testicular torsion, caused by a twisted spermatic cord, can cause pain similar to that caused by epididymitis and requires emergency treatment because it blocks blood flow to the testicle.
See a doctor if you have discharge from your penis or pain when you urinate.
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.
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