Epididymitis is the inflammation or infection of the epididymis, the long coiled tube that attaches to the upper part of each testicle. The epididymis functions as a storage, transport, and maturation place for sperm before ejaculation.
In adults, epididymitis is the most common cause of pain in the scrotum, and in adolescents, the second most common cause. The acute form is usually associated with the most severe pain and swelling. If symptoms last for more than six weeks after treatment begins, the condition is considered chronic.
Epididymitis is most common between the ages of 18 and 40, but children can get it, too. Boys who experience painful urination, have a history of urinary tract infections, abnormal bladder function, or abnormalities of the genitals and urinary structures are more inclined to get epididymitis. It is seldom found in adolescents who aren't sexually active.
The infection is especially common among members of the military who exercise for extended periods without emptying their bladders.
Factors that increase the risk of developing epididymitis include: