What is epididymitis?
Epididymitis is the inflammation of the epididymis, which is the coiled tube that is located above and behind the testicle. It is connected to the vas deferens, which is the channel that carries the spermatozoa. When this tube, the epididymis is inflamed, it is called epididymitis. Inflammation is manifested by pain and swelling of the testicles. Depending on its intensity or type of inflammation, it is called acute or chronic epididymitis. When the whole testicle is inflamed, it is called epididymo-orchitis.
Epididymitis can affect men of all ages, but most often it affects young people aged 14 to 35 years. There are several causes for this infection. Most often, she is caught by an infectious bacterium that is transmitted by an STD. But it can also be the consequence of a urinary infection or other diseases such as tuberculosis or Bechet’s disease.
How to treat an epididymitis? What are the causes of inflammation of the epididymis? How to get rid of inflammation? How long does an epididymitis last? Should we have surgery and what treatment to follow?
What are the symptoms of epididymitis?
At first, the symptoms may be mild. Often, men do not worry too much, until the pain is really felt and the swelling of the testicles becomes worrying. This is why we often talk about epididymo-orchitis, because it becomes almost difficult to know if all the testicle is swollen or only the epididymis. The pains, symptoms and external appearance of epididymitis are strongly similar to testicular torsion. This is why a doctor’s consultation is necessary to identify it correctly.
When one has an epididymis, one feels the following symptoms:
- Mild fever
- Pain in the groin
- Pressure in the testicles
- Pain and increased sensitivity in the testicles
- Redness and inflammation of the scrotum
- Inflated glands in the groin
- Pain during intercourse and during ejaculation
- Pain when urinating and in the toilet
- Urgent and frequent need to urinate
- Abnormal urinary leakage
- Traces of blood in sperm or urine
How you get epididymitis?
Young adolescents, see children, may suffer from epididymitis. In their case, it is a direct trauma of the epididymis or a torsion of it. Between the ages of 14 and 35, the most common cause is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). When an STD is not involved, this may be the side effect of a treatment or a consequence of another illness.
Epididymitis caused by STIs
A bacterial infection causes inflammation of this sperm carrier tube. It can spread throughout the urinary system, traveling through all channels. Often, it starts from the bladder or prostate, to lodge in the epididymis.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia, the two most common STIs among heterosexual young men, are infections that can occur when they have unprotected sex with different partners. These STIs can then be transformed and trigger an epididymitis.
Epididymitis caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI)
As we said, epididymitis can also occur in children who do not have sex. It is then a consequence of a urinary infection.
But the urinary tract infection can also come from sexual games, often during homosexual intercourse, anal penetration or when inserting objects into the urethra.
- Problems of swollen prostate
- Catheter insertion into the urethra
- Problems with groin, bladder or prostate operations
- Epididymitis caused by another disease
Other diseases can cause inflammation of the epididymis.
- Side effects of some drugs
- Groin injury
- Behcet’s disease
- Renal problems
How to diagnose epididymitis?
The doctor performs a complete medical examination and he will feel the testicles. He looks for swelling on the top of the testicle or redness on the purses. If there are liquid flows from the penis, he will reap the substance to analyze it.
The doctor can possibly:
- Perform a rectal examination to see if there is swelling of the prostate
- Perform a blood test to see if there is an infection in the system
- Request a urine test to find traces of UTI or STI
- A testicular radio may also be required.
How to treat epididymitis?
The treatment obviously depends on the cause of the inflammation. If it is infected with an STI, it is essential to treat the sexually transmitted disease. In this case, it is also necessary to contact the various sexual partners and of course, it is no longer a question of having unprotected sex.
To reduce pain, the patient may take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or pain relievers. The treatment still takes 4 to 6 weeks.
To relieve pain, you can:
- Keep the scrotum high for at least two days
- Put cold on the scrotum
- Wear sports underwear that keep the purses
- Avoid wearing heavy objects
If the pain and inflammation do not stop after 3 months, the case becomes worrying, and the doctor should consider an operation. It can drain the tube by piercing the epididymis with a needle.
What are the side effects and complications of epididymitis?
Although in most cases epididymitis has no other consequences for men, it may still lead to other dysfunctions. In the long term, it does not affect the reproductive system except in rare cases.
Potential complications of epididymitis:
- Chronic epididymitis
- Narrowing of the testicles
- Anal fistula and abscess
- Scrotal drainage possible
- Tearing scrotal skin
- Testicular infarction
It must still be reassured, these cases of complications are rather rare. Although it takes time to heal, once the epididymitis is over, the male patient regains sexual power, habitual libido, and normal sexual faculties.