Testes infections can present a range of symptoms such as redness, swelling, pain, or inflammation of the scrotum or testicle. We look into some of the common reasons behind patients who present with infections.


Epididymitis is where a tube (the epididymis) at the back of the testicles becomes swollen and painful. It’s often caused by an infection and is usually treated with antibiotics.

If the testicles are also affected, it may be called epididymo-orchitis.

Symptoms of epididymitis

Symptoms of epididymitis may include:

  • sudden or gradual pain in 1 or both of your testicles (balls)
  • the bag of skin containing your testicles (scrotum) feeling tender, warm and swollen
  • a build-up of fluid around your testicle (a hydrocele) that feels like a lump or swelling

You may have other symptoms depending on the cause, such as difficulty peeing, or a white, yellow or green discharge from the tip of the penis.

What causes epididymitis?

Epididymitis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. This is more likely in younger men under 35 years old.

If testing shows that your epididymitis is caused by a STI, it may be recommended that your current or recent sexual partners are also tested for STIs.

It can also be caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI), but UTIs are less common in men.

A UTI is more likely if you have:

  • an enlarged prostate gland
  • a urinary catheter
  • recently had surgery to the groin, prostate gland or bladder

Sometimes a cause cannot be found.

When should I see a healthcare specialist?

You should visit your GP or healthcare specialist if you have any of the following:

  • a lump in your testes
  • swollen testes
  • a change in the shape of your testes
  • a change in the way your testes feel
  • 1 testicle that’s become bigger than the other
  • aching or discomfort in your testes that does not go away

Lumps in the testes can be a sign of testicular cancer. This is easier to treat if it’s found early.


What is epididymo-orchitis?

Epididymo-orchitis is an infection of the testicle and epididymis (tubes around the testicle).

How does you get epididymo-orchitis?

Epididymo-orchitis is usually due to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, which is caught from having unprotected sex with someone who has the STI. This can include oral, vaginal and anal sex, sex play or sharing sex toys. If you use a condom every time you have sex you are much less likely to get epididymo-orchitis. Sometimes epididymo-orchitis is due to a urinary infection – this is more common in men over 35. It can also be caused by a childhood infection known as mumps.

What are the symptoms of Epididymo-orchitis?

These can include:

  • Pain or swelling in the testicle or scrotum.
  • Discharge or fluid leaking from the penis, especially if it is due to chlamydia or gonorrhoea.
  • Sometimes there may be pain passing urine.

Sudden severe pain in the testicle or scrotum can be due to a twisted testicle. This is serious and you will need to see a doctor straight away.

What do I do if I think I have epididymo-orchitis?

You should see a doctor urgently. You will need to have a sexual health check. You will need an examination and you will need to do a urine test. You may also need to have a swab taken from the penis.

If you would like to speak to our team about your testes, please call us on 0161 327 1269 or email us at info@urologyclinics.co.uk.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.