Epididymitis and orchitis are inflammations of the testicles and the surrounding areas. More specifically, epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. This structure is located at the top of the testis and helps with sperm development. Orchitis is an actual inflammation of the testicles, often caused by epididymitis.

Why It Occurs
Most cases of epididymitis or orchitis are caused by bacterial infections from other areas of the body, such as the urinary tract, that affect the testes. It can also occur as a complication of a sexually transmitted infection. Cases of mumps in post-pubescent males can bring on orchitis as well.

Any man can experience epididymitis, but it is most common in younger males. Orchitis is the less common condition. It can be aggravated by the presence of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Epididymitis and orchitis usually cause sudden and severe pain in the testicles. Pain begins in the back of the organ and spreads to the entire scrotum. If left untreated, pain can spread to the pelvic areas.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Men experiencing severe testicular pain will first be examined using an ultrasound imaging device to rule out other conditions. A physical examination, urine tests, and blood tests will be used to determine if an infection is present. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection. Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to help with the pain.