Acute epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. This is a structure that surrounds and attaches to each testicle. It is shaped like a tube. The epididymis helps transport and store sperm cells.Chronic epididymitis causes discomfort or pain in the epididymis. It can last for 3 months or longer. This type is less common.
The Epididymis
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This condition is most often caused by a bacterial infection. For example:Other causes include:
  • Injury
  • Viral infections, such as mumps
  • Genital abnormalities
  • Treatment with amiodarone, a heart rhythm drug
  • Chemotherapy to treat bladder cancer
  • Vasectomy

Risk Factors

Only men can develop this condition. It affects men age 15-30 with sexually transmitted bacteria begin a common cause. It also affects men over 60 with urinary tract infections being a common cause. Other factors that increase the risk of epididymitis include:
  • Infection of the genitourinary tract—urethra, bladder, kidney, prostate, or testicle
  • Narrowing of the urethra
  • Use of a urethral catheter
  • Infrequent emptying of the bladder
  • Recent surgery or instrumentation of the genitourinary tract—especially prostate removal
  • Birth defects of the genitourinary tract
  • Unprotected sex
  • Disease that affects the immune system
Children and newborns can get epididymitis.

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