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Epididymitis is the most common cause of pain in the scrotum. The acute form is usually associated with the most severe pain and swelling. If symptoms last for more than six weeks after treatment begins, the condition is considered chronic.

Epididymitis can occur any time after the onset of puberty but is most common between the ages of 18 and 40. It is especially common among members of the military who exercise for extended periods without emptying their bladders.

Factors that increase the risk of developing epididymitis include:

  • infection of the bladder, kidney, prostate, or urinary tract
  • other recent illness
  • narrowing of the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder)
  • use of a urethral catheter

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