Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is the comma-
shaped organ which lies along the posterior border of each testicle. Each epididymis
consists mostly of a tightly coiled tube, the ductus epididymis. The function of the
ductus epididymis is to (1) store sperm for maturation and (2) to propel the matured
sperm toward the urethra during ejaculation (sperm is propelled by contraction of the
smooth muscle of the epididymis). The condition epididymides is one of the most
common infections of the male reproductive tract. Care must be taken to treat this
infection. Untreated, this infection may spread to the testicle itself causing orchitis
(inflammation of the testis). If the condition spreads to both testicles, the patient may
become sterile. Epididymitis is common in males under thirty but rarely occurs before
a. Etiology. Included are the following:
Chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland).
Chronic urethritis (inflammation of the urethra).
Figure 1-3. Area of epididymitis.