Epididymitis is where a tube (the epididymis) at the back of the testicles becomes swollen and painful. It's often caused by an infection and is usually treated with antibiotics.
If the testicles are also affected, it may be called epididymo-orchitis.
Check if it's epididymitis
Symptoms of epididymitis may include:
- sudden or gradual pain in 1 or both of your testicles (balls)
- the bag of skin containing your testicles (scrotum) feeling tender, warm and swollen
- a build-up of fluid around your testicle (a hydrocele) that feels like a lump or swelling
You may have other symptoms depending on the cause, such as difficulty peeing, or a white, yellow or green discharge from the tip of the penis.
Causes of epididymitis
Epididymitis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. This is more likely in younger men under 35 years old.
It can also be caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI), but UTIs are less common in men.
A UTI is more likely if you have:
- an enlarged prostate gland
- a urinary catheter
- recently had surgery to the groin, prostate gland or bladder
Sometimes a cause cannot be found.