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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.


What Are Epididymitis and Orchitis?Epididimitis y la orquitis

What Are Epididymitis and Orchitis?

Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. Inflammation is most often caused by bacteria in the urinary tract (a bladder infection) or by bacteria passed between partners during sex. When the inflammation spreads to a testicle, it is called orchitis.

Cutaway view of bladder and penis

The Testicle and the Epididymis

The 2 testicles are the male sex organs that produce sperm and male hormones. The testicles lie inside the scrotum. Behind each testicle is a coiled tube called the epididymis.

Normal Flow of Sperm and Urine

Sperm travel from the testicle through the epididymis into a tube called the vas deferens. During ejaculation, sperm pass out of the body through the urethra. During urination, urine flows from the bladder out through the urethra.

Inflamed testicle

How Inflammation Starts

The urethra contains bacteria. Bacteria can travel from the urethra into the epididymis. This causes inflammation in the epididymis. The inflammation can also spread to the testicle. Rarely, infections, such as mumps, start elsewhere in the body and spread to the testicle, causing orchitis.

Acute inflammation comes on quickly. Symptoms may include:

  • pain and swelling in the scrotum

  • a frequent urge to urinate

  • a discharge from the penis

  • pain during ejaculation

  • fever

Chronic inflammation is most often the late phase of an acute infection. Symptoms may include:

  • an ache or dull pain in the scrotum, which may spread to the groin

  • a heavy feeling in the scrotum

Date Last Reviewed: 2005-09-16T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2005-09-16T00:00:00-06:00


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