Discharge Instructions for Epididymitis

You have been diagnosed with epididymitis. This is an inflammation of a coiled tube called the epididymis that is located behind your testicle, inside the scrotum. The epididymis collects and stores sperm made by the testicles. Epididymitis is often caused by bacteria in the urinary tract or by bacteria passed between partners during sex. It can also be a complication of certain hospital procedures, or it can be caused by use of a urinary catheter. Here’s what you need to do at home to care for yourself.

Home care

  • Be sure to finish all the medication your health care provider prescribed — even if you feel better. Not finishing the medication can make your condition harder to treat or cause the condition to come back.

  • Rest in bed if you are uncomfortable. Discomfort should go away within 1 to 3 days of treatment. Swelling may persist for up to 2 months.

  • Ask your health care provider about pain medication to keep you comfortable.

  • Use an ice pack or bag of frozen peas to help relieve the pain. Wrap the peas or ice pack in a thin cloth and apply to the area.

  • Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes, and don’t use it more often than once every hour.

  • Elevate the scrotum with a rolled-up towel when you are resting.

  • For the first few days, wear an athletic supporter. When your pain subsides, wear briefs instead of boxers to better support the scrotum. This can help relieve pain.

  • Keep your penis and scrotum clean.

  • Use a condom to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • If your condition was caused by an STD, be sure to inform your sexual partner(s).

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your health care provider.

When to seek medical care

Call your health care provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increased pain or swelling in the scrotum

  • Frequent urge or inability to urinate

  • Discharge from the penis

  • Pain during ejaculation

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C)