This is pain and swelling of the scrotum (sac round balls). It is usually caused by an infection in the epididymis, testicle or tubes.

What might I notice?

Pain, redness or swelling in the scrotum. It can also cause some pain passing urine or a discharge from the water passage opening(urethra)

What should I do ?

Please get checked out. If the swelling is sudden onset with severe pain go straight to A&E as it is important to make sure that you do not have a torsion (where testicle twists round on itself). This is a medical emergency.
If it has been a more gradual onset or not causing severe pain please contact the sexual health service or GP for it to be checked out as soon as possible.

What causes it?

It can be caused a number of different infections not all of which are sexually related. It is important to have a sexual health screen to rule out chlamydia or gonorrhoea. Often no particular infection is found. This does not mean that there hasn’t been an infection simply that we can’t put a name to it.

How do you test for it?

The testicles and scrotum are examined to rule out torsion. A swab is taken from the opening of water passage to look for inflammation. A urine test is taken for chlamydia and gonorrhoea as well as for a bladder infection. A scan of the testicles may be recommended. This would be arranged to be done at the hospital.

How can I prevent it happening again?

Always using a condom for any sexual contact

Can it cause any long-term problems?

If it is left untreated it can cause problems with ongoing pain. It can rarely cause fertility problems.

Should I have a repeat test?

If either chlamydia or gonorrhoea was identified as a cause you will be advised to have a test of cure in a few weeks.

What about my partner?

It is recommended that partners have a check-up and also take antibiotics. Please avoid any sexual contact until you have both been treated.

How is it treated?

A 2 week course of antibiotics is usually given. The type of antibiotic will depend on the likely bacteria causing the infection. It is important to avoid sexual contact until both you and your partner have completed the course of antibiotics plus 1 further week.

For more information please see Bashh Epidiymo-orchitis Information