Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD Patient Handout


About Your Diagnosis
Epididymitis is an infection and inflammation of the epididymis, which is an oblong structure at the upper area of each testicle. It is usually a complication of a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body, such as a urinary tract infection. It may also be caused by a scrotal injury. It is curable with treatment. Possible complications of the disease include sterility; blockage or narrowing of the urethra causing urinary difficulty if the infection involves both testicles; and constipation, because bowel movements may aggravate the pain.

Living With Your Diagnosis
For mild pain, over-the-counter medications may be used. If pain is moderate to severe, your doctor may need to prescribe a stronger pain medication. Stool softeners are useful to prevent constipation and to decrease pain associated with bowel movements. Bed rest may be necessary until the fever, swelling, and pain improve. While in bed, elevating the scrotum on a rolled towel may help. Activity should be increased gradually, and an athletic supporter should be worn. Sexual relations should be put on hold until 1 month after symptoms disappear.

Antibiotics are needed to fight the infection.

The DOs
• Rest in bed until the fever, swelling, and pain improve.
• Place a soft, rolled towel under the scrotum while in bed.
• Apply an ice pack to the scrotal area to help reduce swelling and pain.
• Wear an athletic supporter when your activity increases.
• Take antibiotics until finished.
• Take nonprescription pain medication.
• Eat foods that are natural laxatives, such as fresh fruits, nuts, prunes, and whole grain cereals to prevent constipation.
• Increase your fluid intake but avoid carbonated, caffeinated beverages and alcohol.

The DON’Ts
• Don’t skip doses or stop your antibiotics.
• Don’t drink alcohol, carbonated beverages, tea, or coffee because they can irritate the urinary tract.
• Don’t resume sexual relations until several days after symptoms are completely gone.

When to Call Your Doctor
• A high fever develops during treatment.
• Your pain is not controlled with nonprescription medications.
• You become severely constipated.
• Your symptoms don’t improve in 3 or 4 days after your treatment starts.

National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse
www.healthfinder.gov (Choose SEARCH to search by topic)