ZocdocAnswersWhat is epididymitis?

Question

What is epididymitis?

My boyfriend has this, what does it mean? Should I get checked out too?

Answer

You should be seen by your doctor. Epididymitis is a term referring to inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is part of the male reproductive system. It is a long, narrow convoluted tube that sits on the top/back of each testicle. The sperm made in the testicle are stored and matured in the epididymis, and ultimately transferred through the coiling tube to the vas deferens at the time of ejaculation. Epididymitis occurs most often in young men (ages 18-35) can affect men of all ages. It often presents with pain and swelling of the scrotum, and some men may also experience fever, chills, penile discharge, and pain/burning with urination. The inflammation is due to bacteria that have migrated from either the urethra, bladder or prostate. In young men, typically under the age of 35, this infection is often due to Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. In older men, these bacteria are less commonly isolated, and more often E. coli is found to be the culprit. Since Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are sexually transmitted diseases and it is possible that your boyfriend has been infected with these organisms, you should be seen by your primary care doctor or urgent care clinic. This is the case even if you do not have any symptoms, as sometimes these infections may be silent or very mild in women.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.