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What is epididymitis?

Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis, which is a tube that stores and transports sperm from the testes.
How is it transmitted? 

It may be caused by a variety of bacteria, some of which may be sexually transmitted.

What are the symptoms?

One or all of the following symptoms may occur:

  • Gradual feeling of pain or tenderness in one testicle
  • Swelling, redness or a lump in the affected testicle
  • Fever
  • Urethral discharge (discharge from the penis)
  • Blood in the semen

How is it treated?

Epididymitis is treated with antibiotics. It is important to finish all the medication. To ensure that the medication is working and your symptoms are improving, you should return to the clinic at the time requested by your health provider. Do not have any sexual activity during treatment.

Can I give epididymitis to other people?

The bacteria that causes epididymitis can be transmitted through sexual activities. You can pass the infection to your partner(s) even when there are no symptoms.

Encourage your partner(s) to be tested before resuming any sexual activity.

Are there complications?

If untreated, epididymitis can lead to:

  • Abscess in the scrotum
  • Chronic epididymitis
  • Infertility (the inability to produce sperm)


Any infection in the genital area may increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV.

Practicing safer sex by using latex or polyurethane condoms, and/or oral dams for oral, anal or vaginal sex can reduce the risk of Sexually Transmitted and blood borne Infections (STBBIs).

For more information:

Please consult these sources: www.sexandu.ca

Call the Sexual Health Infoline Ontario at 1-800-668-2437 if you have questions or need help. 

Sexual Health Clinic
179 Clarence St,
Ottawa. ON K1N5P7

613-234-4641 | TTY: 613-580-9656

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