The epididymis is a series of small tubes attached to the back of each testicle that collects and stores sperm. One of the most common causes of pain in the scrotum is epididymitis, which is an infection that causes inflammation of these coiled tubes. Epididymo-orchitis is the spread of the infection to the testicle.
The occurrence of these conditions in isolation is rare, with epididymitis and orchitis normally occurring together. In the US, it is estimated that there are 600,000 cases of this condition each year, occurring most commonly in the 19-35 year old age group. The exact incidence in Australia is not known.
The treatment options for epididymitis include:Antibiotics, cold compresses applied regularly to the scrotum, pain-relieving medication, bed rest, elevation of the scrotum, antibiotics for any sexual partners (if an STI was the cause) etc.
Most cases of epididymitis are caused by bacterial infection from a urinary tract infection or a sexually transmissible infection (STI) such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia.