Epididymitis

(Epididymo-orchitis)

Definition

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 three months or longer. This type is less common.
The Epididymis
si2188 testicle
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Causes

This condition is most often caused by a bacterial infection. For example:Other causes include:

Risk Factors

Only men can develop this condition. Risk factors include:
  • Age: 15-30 (sexually transmitted bacteria is a common cause)
  • Age: over 60 (urinary tract infections are a more frequent cause)
  • 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. It is not necessary to have a urinary tract infection.

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