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Swollen Testicles (Epididymitis)

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Epididymitis is a swelling and redness of the small coiled tube (epididymis) which sperm pass. This tube is at the back of each testicle. The swelling can be in one or both testicles.

Causes

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Enlarged prostate glands
  • After surgery on the prostate
  • After a medical procedure involving the urinary tract

Symptoms

  • Swelling in one or both testicles
  • Pain in the scrotum
  • Sore groin
  • Pain when urinating (peeing)
  • Painful sex or ejaculation
  • Fever
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Blood in the semen
  • Lower abdominal pain (stomachache)

Care at home

  • Take all of the medicine prescribed
  • If the infection is a sexually transmitted disease, your sex partner(s) may need to be treated with medicine
  • Use an ice pack to help with pain and swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth and apply for 15 minutes every 1-2 hours for pain
  • Rest
  • When lying down, a folded or rolled up towel placed under the scrotum will help with swelling and pain
  • A jock strap or briefs will help with pain. They provide support. Boxers will provide support
  • If you have an infection, do not have sex until the infection is over
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may help with pain

When to return to emergency

  • If there is not improvement in symptoms after 3 days of medication
  • If the pain in the testicles is not relieved with medication
  • If the scrotum develops sores, or leaks pus
  • Purple or blue coloured scrotum
  • Fever higher than 38°C
  • Confusion

Reference:
Mayo Clinic, Epididymitis, 2005
BC Health Guide, Epididymitis, 2005
Peace Health, Epididymitis, 2005

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