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What is it?

Epididymo-orchitis is the inflammation of the epididymis and testicles. It is caused by spread of bacterial infection.

How is it passed on?

Infections that cause epididymo-orchitis, such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia, are passed from one person to another during unprotected sex. This includes vaginal, anal and oral sex.

A urine infection can also cause epididymo-orchitis, although this is not sexually transmitted.

What are the symptoms?

Testicular pain and scrotal swelling are the most common symptoms of epididymo-orchitis. Some people might also notice a discharge (liquid) from the tip of the penis, experience pain when passing urine, and occasionally a fever might be present.

How do you test for it?

Epididymo-orchitis is usually diagnosed by a physical examination of the testicles at a sexual health clinic. In some circumstances, a testicular ultrasound might also help. All patients are also offered a test for gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

What is the treatment?

Treatment is with oral antibiotics, usually for two weeks. It is usual to have a follow up after two weeks to check that the symptoms have improved.

It is very important that your partner also gets tested before you have sex again, to prevent possible re-infection.

Find out how to avoid STIs.