DESCRIPTIONEpididymitis is an inflammation and infection of the epididymis, an oblong structure attached to the upper part of each testis. Epididymitis can affect males beginning at puberty.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSEnlarged, hardened testicle.
Tender scrotal contents.
Tenderness of the second testicle (sometimes).
Acute urethritis (often).
CAUSESUsually a complication of a bacterial infection elsewhere in your son's body, such as gonococcal infection of the urethra, prostate infection, or bladder or kidney infection.
Epididymitis may also complicate an infection of the scrotum or be caused by scrotal injury.
Your son's recent illness, especially acute or chronic prostatitis, urethritis, or urinary-tract infection.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEInstructions for your son:
Avoid urethral catheters if possible.
Use rubber condoms during intercourse to protect from venereal disease. Don't engage in sexual activity with persons who have venereal disease.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as urinalysis and culture of prostate secretions, to identify the germ responsible for your son's illness.
Constipation (sometimes) because bowel movements aggravate pain.
Sterility or narrowing and blockage of the urethra if the epididymitis involves both testicles. This requires your son to have surgery.
Usually curable with treatment.
HOME CAREInstructions for your son:
Support the weight of the scrotum and tender testicles. Roll a soft bath towel and place it between your legs under the inflamed area.
Apply either an ice bag or warm compresses, electric heating pad, or hot water bottle to the inflamed parts. Use whichever relieves pain best.
Wear an athletic supporter or two pairs of athletic briefs when you resume normal activity.
MEDICATIONAntibiotics to fight infection.
Hormones to decrease sexual tension, if necessary.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Instructions for your son:
Rest in bed until fever, pain, and swelling improve. Don't engage in sexual intercourse. If sexual desire and erections become a problem, consult your doctor for medication. Wait at least a month after all symptoms disappear before resuming sexual relations.
DIET & FLUIDSUrge your son not to drink alcohol, tea, coffee, or carbonated beverages. These irritate the urinary system.
Encourage your son to eat natural laxative foods, such as prunes, fresh fruit, whole-grain cereals, and nuts, to prevent constipation.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your son has symptoms of epididymitis.
His pain is not relieved by measures outlined above.
His temperature reaches 103F (39.4C).
He becomes constipated.
His symptoms don't improve within 4 days after treatment begins.