Got Testicle Pain? It May Be Epididymitis
Listen up, fellas – if you’re experiencing pain, redness and swelling in your nether regions, it’s time to call the doc. “Pain in the testicles should be evaluated by a doctor right away,” says internist Roy Buchinsky, MD. Scrotal pain can be a sign of many conditions, ranging from hernia to testicular torsion. But a common cause – and an easily treatable one – is epididymitis.
The epididymis is a tube that connects the testicles to the vas deferens. Clinical epididymitis occurs when that structure becomes painfully inflamed. The causes include bacterial infection, viral infection and, less commonly, chemical irritation.
Treatment usually involves antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication. Dr. Buchinsky also recommends that men wear supportive athletic underwear during the healing period in order to ease pain. “Scrotal support is very important,” he says. Full recovery can occur in just a few days.
Untreated, epididymitis can progress to an abscess that will eventually require surgical drainage. “An abscess can be very threatening and cause sepsis or other major problems,” says Dr. Buchinsky. “But if you treat epididymitis without delay with the appropriate antibiotics, there should be no long-term problems.”
Roy Buchinsky, MD, is the Robert and Susan Hurwitz Master Clinician of Wellness for University Hospitals.