Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Epididymitis

Epididymitis is a condition that causes an inflamed and painful testicle. If you have a painful testicle, it’s important to see a doctor straight away to get treatment.

What is epididymitis?

Epididymitis is inflammation (swelling) of the epididymis. The epididymis is a tightly coiled tube at the back of each testicle that stores immature sperm while they mature.

Epididymitis often occurs at the same time as orchitis, which is inflammation of the testes themselves.

Causes of epididymitis

Epididymitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection, particularly sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Epididymitis may also be caused by injury, vasectomy, or an autoimmune disease.

Symptoms of epididymitis

If you have epididymitis, your testicle will be;

  • tender or painful
  • unusually warm
  • swollen or firm.

You might also feel sick, with fever and chills.

If your epididymitis is related to a UTI, you might also have abdominal pain, the need to urinate often and a burning feeling when you do urinate.

If you have any pain or swelling of the testicle, you should see a doctor straight away to minimise the risk of complications.

Diagnosis of epididymitis

Your doctor will talk to you and examine you. You might be asked to have blood tests or urine tests. You might also be asked to have an ultrasound.

Treatment of epididymitis

Bacterial epididymitis can be treated with antibiotics. Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, ice packs and supportive underwear that elevates the testicles can also help.

If your symptoms don’t go away with treatment, you may need to see a specialist. A few people need surgery.

Prevention of epididymitis

You can help prevent epididymitis by practicing safe sex, and asking your doctor about how to prevent UTIs, if you get them regularly.

Additional information

More information on epdidiymitis is also available from:

Last reviewed: March 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 9 results

Epididymitis and Orchitis (epididymo-orchitis) | myVMC

Epididymitis occurs when infection spreads from the urinary tract to vessels in the penis and testes. It may cause orchitis or inflammation of the testes.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Problems of the testes | Andrology Australia

Testes problems Important parts of the male reproductive system, the testes (testicles) are oval shaped glands responsible for producing sperm and most of the male hormone testosterone.

Read more on Andrology Australia website

Scrotal lumps and inflammation | Andrology Australia

Most lumps found in the scrotum are not cancer but all scrotal lumps should be checked by a doctor to make sure they are not cancer.

Read more on Andrology Australia website

Testicular conditions

A number of conditions can affect the testicles (the male sex glands where sperm are made.)

Read more on WA Health website

Chlamydia and pregnancy

Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) which affects both men and women. Chlamydia during pregnancy can also cause a number of issues.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Brucellosis | myVMC

Brucellosis is an infection transmitted via unpasteurised dairy, uncooked meat and contact with animals. It causes fever, pain and depression.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Chlamydia (C. Trachomatis, C. Pneumoniae, C. Psittacci, C. Pecorum) | myVMC

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. Genital chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Australia but also causes eye infection trachoma.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) and cancer

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic female hormone previously commonly prescribed to prevent miscarriages. Exposure to DES is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, birth defects and anatomical changes in male and female reproductive systems.

Read more on WA Health website

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Australia, particularly among young people aged between 15 and 25 years.

Read more on WA Health website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback