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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.


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


  • 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

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

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