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Diagnosing and treating chronic epididymitis

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I was diagnosed with Epididymitis back in August 2009. I was prescribed various antibiotics in the first few months and had a general ultrasound scan on both testicles. (This showed acceptable levels of fluid behind both)

My GP says I now have Chronic Epididymitis for which I am now taking anti inflammatories for.

My symptoms are real tender / sore pain behind my left testicle. This is really painful if I do not sit on a cushion. Within the last few months this has spread to my lower abdomen, and especially the middle of my tummy directly below my rib cage. My main question is whether this is normal??????

I am slightly concerned the pain is not getting better and has now spread.

Any further advice would be much appriciated.


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replied February 15th, 2010
Testicles Answer A10052


Given the symptoms you provided (tender/sore pain behind left testicle, pain that spreads to lower abdomen) you may have experienced chronic epididymitis.

The epididymis is a curved structure located on the posterior edge of the testicle. Its primary function is storage and maturation of the spermatozoids. Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. It is usually caused by bacterial infection that is spread from the rest of the genital tract. The swelling of the tissue causes the pain in the scrotum that you described.

The nerves responsible for conducting the painful sensation are responsible for conducting the sensation from the pelvis as well. Thus, the brain might misinterpret that the pain radiates in the lower abdomen. But, this pain is not supposed to spread higher than the waist.

If you feel pain that is higher than your waist, you might want to visit a family doctor for a routine physical examination and laboratory tests. You might be referred to a specialist for digestive disorders for examination of the intestines and an ultrasound scan of the abdominal organs. The treatment would depend on the underlying cause.

If nothing is detected, then the pain is likely caused by the chronic epididymitis. A sperm culture might determine the exact bacteria that causes the inflammation as well as the most effective antibiotic.


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