Page ContentEpididymitisEpididymitis is most often treated with antibiotics. Epididymitis is inflammation or infection of the epididymis, which is the long tube that rests along the testicles and stores and carries sperm. Epididymitis can occur at any age and may be caused by any one of several issues, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), other bacterial infections and injury.SymptomsCommon signs and symptoms of epididymitis include:A swollen, red or warm scrotumTesticle pain and tenderness (usually comes on gradually on one side)Painful urination or urgent need to urinate frequentlyDischarge from the penisPain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvic areaBlood in the semenChronic epididymitis lasts longer than six weeks or recurs.Causes & Risk Factors Epididymitis is most often causes by a bacterial infection, such as sexually transmitted diseases. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are the most common causes of epididymitis in young, sexually active men.Other causes include:Bacteria from a urinary tract or prostate infection that spreadsViral infections, such as the mumps virusUrine in the epididymis (chemical epididymitis)Groin injuryTuberculosis infection (rare) Since STDs are a common cause for epididymitis, any sexual behavior that can lead to contracting an STD increases the chances of also developing epididymitis. Such behavior includes having sex with a partner that has an STD and unprotected sex. Other risk factors include:History of prostate or urinary tract infectionsHistory of medical procedures that affect the urinary tractAn uncircumcised penisAn anatomical abnormality of the urinary tractProstate enlargement To determine whether you have epididymitis, your doctor will check for enlarged lymph nodes in your groin and an enlarged testicle on the affected side. A rectal examination may also be done to check for prostate enlargement or tenderness. Your doctor may suggest testing for STDs and an ultrasound to rule out testicular torsion. Treatment Bacterial epididymitis is typically treated with antibiotics. If it’s found that the condition was caused by an STD, your doctor will also recommend that your sexual partner be treated. You should start to feel better within 48 to 72 hours of starting the antibiotic. Rest will also be required, as well as supporting the scrotum and taking pain medication to relieve discomfort. In some cases, when an abscess has formed, surgery may be needed to drain it. In rare cases, all or part of the epididymis will need to be surgically removed. If you suspect you have epididymitis, the urology specialists at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston can determine the cause and provide the necessary treatment.