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Discharge Instructions for Epididymitis

Epididymitis is swelling of the epididymis. This structure surrounds and attaches to each testicle.

Medicine and self-care will help with discomfort. It may take up to 6 weeks to get better.

Steps to Take

Home Care

The area may feel thick or firm. This will fade, but can last for up to a month. To ease swelling and discomfort:

  • Use a rolled towel to keep the scrotum raised. Change positions to keep the area raised above your heart if you can.
  • Use ice for up to 15 minutes at time for as long as it works for you. Place a towel between the ice and your skin.
  • Wear supportive underwear or a jockstrap. You may need to do this for many weeks.

Part of your treatment may involve telling partners to get tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Physical Activity

You will need to rest before going back to normal activity. In general:

  • Stay in bed to keep your testicles from moving. You may need bed rest until the swelling goes away.
  • Do not do any activity that causes pain.
  • For STIs—Do not have sex until you and your partners have been treated.
  • Ask your doctor when you can return to work.
  • Do not drive until your doctor says it is okay.


Medicine will help ease pain and swelling. Other medicine will fight the infection.

Take all the antibiotics you are given. Do not stop taking them even when you are feeling better.

If you are taking medicine:

  • Take medicine as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
  • Ask what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Do not share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicine can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one medicine. This includes over-the-counter products and supplements.


The doctor may want to see you about a week after starting medicine. You and your partners may need more testing or treatments. It is important to go to all recommended appointments.

Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occur

Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Pain that is not helped by medicine
  • Increasing or severe pain in the testicles
  • Sudden redness or swelling of the scrotum
  • Hardness, a lump, or soreness in the affected testicle
  • Tenderness in the nonaffected testicle
  • Groin pain
  • Signs of infection such as fever or chills
  • Pain when having sex or during ejaculation
  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • Increased pain while having a bowel movement
  • Discomfort in the lower belly
  • Leaking or pus from the penis

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Urology Care Foundation


Health Canada

The Kidney Foundation of Canada


Acute epididymitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114552/Acute-epididymitis. Updated October 6, 2017. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Epididymitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/epididymitis.htm. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Epididymitis. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated December 7, 2018. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Epididymitis and orchitis. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/epididymitis-and-orchitis. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Epididymo-orchitis. Patient website. Available at: https://patient.info/mens-health/scrotal-lumps-pain-and-swelling/epididymo-orchitis. Updated November 10, 2016. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 3/29/2019