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Division of Urology

Pediatric Urology Conditions


Epididymitis is a very painful condition usually caused by infection or inflammation of the epididymis (a tube-shaped structure connected to the testicle).

What causes epididymitis?

Epididymitis means inflammation of the epididymis. Epididymitis may be caused by the spread of a bacterial infection from the urethra (the opening at the end of the penis) or the bladder. In children, it usually develops due to inflammation from a direct trauma, torsion of the appendix epididymis, or reflux of urine into the epididymis.

What are the symptoms of epididymitis?

Epididymitis usually begins with a gradual onset of testicular pain that increases in severity over time. The testicle can become swollen, tender to touch and red. Other symptoms can include:

How is epididymitis diagnosed?

Physical examination shows a red, tender and sometimes swollen lump on the affected side of the scrotum. Tenderness is usually present in a small area of the testicle where the epididymis is attached.

The following tests may be performed:

If your child is having acute (sudden) scrotal pain, he should be taken to the emergency room for evaluation immediately.

Our approach to treating epididymitis

In most cases, epididymitis will get better on its own over time. Rest and ibuprofen can help decrease the inflammation and improve the pain. Some episodes of epididymitis are caused by bacterial infection and require antibiotics if the urine is infected. Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate course of treatment for your child.

Voiding habits can contribute to epididymitis, such as infrequent voiding or straining with urination. We will ask that your child empties his bladder on a routine schedule, increase the amount of water he drinks, and monitor bowel movements for any signs of constipation

Reviewed by: Division of Urology
Date: April 2014

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