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Epididymitis

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Epididymitis is inflammation of your epididymis. The epididymis is a long curled tube inside your scrotum. It stores and carries sperm from your testicles to your penis. Acute epididymitis lasts for 6 weeks or less and becomes chronic if it lasts longer than 3 months.

Subsequent Epididymitis

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given if epididymitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Take them as directed.
  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease swelling and pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

Tests:

  • Lab tests: Blood and urine tests may be done to find the cause of symptoms. If you have discharge, a small amount of this fluid will be collected and sent to a lab for testing.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your scrotum on a monitor. An ultrasound may show bleeding, lumps, or problems with blood flow.
  • Nuclear scan: This tests uses a small amount of radioactive material injected into your blood. A monitor will be used to look at your testicles to check blood flow. The radioactive material helps your blood vessels show up better.

Treatment:

  • Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Healthcare providers put an ice pack on your swollen testicle or scrotum.
  • Scrotal support: Your healthcare provider may put a pillow or rolled up towel under your scrotum. This helps support your scrotum and decrease pain.
  • Surgery: You may need surgery if your condition worsens or becomes chronic. Surgery to remove your epididymis or testicle may be done. You may also need surgery to treat the problem that is causing your condition, such as a urinary tract problem.

RISKS:

Even with treatment, your condition may get worse and become chronic. Surgery may cause bleeding or lead to an infection. If not treated, epididymitis may cause increased pain. If you have an infection, it may spread to other tissue or cause an abscess (collection of pus). It may also spread to other parts of your body. An infection of your blood can cause severe illness and may be life-threatening.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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