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Epididymitis and Orchitis in Children: Care Instructions

The male reproductive system


Epididymitis is pain and swelling of the tube that attaches to each testicle. This tube is called the epididymis. Orchitis is pain and swelling of the testicle. Infection with bacteria often causes these problems. Other causes are infections from surgery or from a catheter that drains urine. The mumps virus also can cause orchitis.

Pain medicine or anti-inflammatory medicines can help with the pain. Antibiotics are used if the problem is caused by bacteria. They are not used if a virus is the cause.

The doctor has checked your child carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or your child does not get better as expected, get medical treatment right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Limit your child's activity to what is comfortable.
  • Have your child wear snug underwear or an athletic supporter. This can help reduce pain.
  • Apply either cold or heat to the swollen area. Use the one that works best for your child's pain. You may have your child sit in a warm bath for 15 minutes twice a day. This will help reduce the swelling more quickly.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child's pain gets worse.
  • Your child has a new or higher fever.
  • Your child has new or more swelling of the testicle.
  • Your child has new belly pain or the pain gets worse.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.