Epididymitis is a medical condition that affects men where an inflammation occurs in the epididymis. It is the epididymis that stores and also carries sperms and therefore if it gets infected it can impact a person’s fertility. Most infections that affect the Epididymitis are usually caused by bacterial infections which may include the common sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
Most of the infections that cause Epididymitis usually emanate from the urethra, prostate and the bladder. There are cases where Epididymitis has also been caused by a more serious infection like tuberculosis.
Other medications used to prevent unusual heart rhythms have also been linked with causing Epididymitis.
What are the Risk Factors for Epididymitis?
- Any recent surgery.
- History of urinary tract structural problems.
- Frequent use of the urethral catheter.
- Unprotected sexual intercourse with multiple partners.
How do I Know If I have Epididymitis?
Most men will not realize that they have Epididymitis when it’s still in its early stages however as it progresses you may notice these symptoms. The problem may start of by you experiencing fever and chills with a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum. Your testicles may get more sensitive to pressure and even get painful with the progression of the condition. You must note that any infection in the epididymis may easily spread to your testicles and therefore if you notice any of these mentioned symptoms it advisable to see a doctor.
Below are the Symptoms of Epididymitis
- Blood occurring in semen.
- Urethral discharge.
- Feeling of discomfort in the lower parts of the abdomen.
- Fever and vomiting in some cases.
- Inflammation next to the testicle.
- Painful ejaculation.
- Scrotal inflammation that is painful (usually occasioned by an enlarged epididymis).
- Pain in the groin area which is characterized by tenderness on the side that is affected.
- Painful testicle that worsens at the height of bowel movements.
How Epididymitis can be Examined During Diagnosis and The Tests Involved in The Process?
Through physical examination, the effected side of the scrotum will show a red and tender lump. The lymph nodes of the groin area will get enlarged and the effected person’s manhood may give off a discharge.
A physical examination of the rectal area may show a prostate that is tender and enlarged.
The Tests which may be Conducted
- Comprehensive blood count.
- The Doppler ultrasound.
- Testicular scan.
- Urinalysis and culture (several specimens may have to be collected from you).
- Chlamydia testing and gonorrhea testing may also be performed on you.
Point to note: Epididymitis is a condition which exhibits similar symptoms as those of testicular torsion (where blood supply to the testicles is usually cut off). Your healthcare provider should thus distinguish between the two and in case it is testicular torsion immediate medical treatment involving surgery may be required without any further delay.
Treatment For Epididymitis
A qualified health professional should be able to offer you the best treatment for your Epididymitis condition. If your Epididymitis condition is as a result of STIs then your healthcare provider may prescribe for you antibiotics.
It will also be important that your sexual partners get treatment to because you may suffer re-infection. To help relief pain your doctor may prescribe for you painkillers and anti-inflammation drugs.
Men, whose Epididymitis conditions are caused as a result of taking the medicine amiodarone, may need to reduce their doses or simply change the medication.
It will also be very important that you do a follow up with your doctor in order to ascertain that the Epididymitis condition has been totally eradicated from your testicles.
Prognosis of Epididymitis
In most cases of Epididymitis treatment it normally goes away with antibiotic treatments. Patients also usually do not suffer from prolonged sexual or reproductive health problems or complications. It is also very possible for the condition to reoccur.
What are the Possible Complications of Epididymitis?
Possible complications which may accompany Epididymitis include the following:
- Scrotal abscess.
- Chronic epididymitis.
- Puncture on the scrotum skin.
- Testicular tissue may die due to insufficient blood supply there.
- In severe cases infertility may also occur.
How Can Epididymitis Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent any complications which may arise from epididymitis is to seek early diagnosis and treatment. By visiting a doctor the doctor may give you antibiotics which will help you in alleviating epididymitis symptoms. Another way to prevent epididymitis is by practicing safe sex practices like not having different sexual partners. This will help you be safe from epididymitis caused as a result of sexually transmitted infections.
Epididymitis is an infection which usually affects the epididymis and comes with various symptoms which are manifested in the male sexual organ. If the condition is not treated in time it could cause adverse complications which may also result in infertility. The good thing is that if the infection is diagnosed early enough it can easily be treated and eliminated forever.
It is important that men practice safe sex by using protection each time they indulge in sexual intercourse and also stick with one sexual partner. This is one way that you can help protect yourself from getting epididymitis caused due as a result of STIs.