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the severity of the pain

The most important interventions are pain control and emotional support. Lifting of the scrotum often relieves the pain in epididymitis; elevating the testicles on a towel eases tension on the spermatic cord and reduces pain. Ice packs to the scrotum also relieve pain, but a barrier between the scrotum and the ice pack is necessary to prevent frostbite or the ascension of the testes into the abdominal cavity. Encourage oral fluids of up to 2 to 3 L per day. As the patient heals, he can resume walking, but he should wear an athletic supporter.

Encourage the patient to verbalize his fears and concerns. Answer questions nonjudgmen-tally. Point out that the patient's sexual partners are at risk if the condition was caused by an STI; urge the patient to notify his partners of his condition. The underlying STI is not restricted only to males and can be transmitted to female sexual partners. For patients who face the possibility of sterility, suggest professional counseling.

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