What is Epididymitis ?

February 9th, 2011

Epididymitis

Epididymitis is a medical condition relating to the swelling or inflammation of the Epididymis, part of the male reproductive system. Epididymis is a long and narrow, tightly-coiled tube attached to the upper part of each testicle and located at the posterior aspect of the testis, that allows for the sperms storage, maturation and transport through the efferent ducts to the vas deferens.
Epididymitis

Epididymitis

is the most common cause of pain felt in the scrotum. The pain may be mildly to very painful, and the scrotum may become red, swollen and warm.  The inflammation may be a result of bacterial or chlamydial infection, a common sexually transmitted disease – (STD) that travels from the urinary tract to the sperm duct, called Epididymitis. Pain that lasts for more than 6 weeks may be considered chronic and treatment will be advised based upon the particular cause of the symptoms. Other symptoms can include fever, chills, tenderness or a heavy sensation in the testicle area.

Epididymitis

is most common in young men between the ages of 19-39, however, it can occur at any time after the onset of puberty in males especially in those who are sexually active and homosexual men. Diagnosis of Epididymitis is established on the basis of history of the patient and medical physical findings, and laboratory tests including urinalysis and urine culture, examination of sperm or discharges from the urethra and prostate gland and blood tests to measure quantity of white cells. If the symptoms occurs on a sudden and are of acute nature that requires immediate medical admission then an utrasonography may be carried out in order to properly diagnose the cause of the acute scrotal pain.

Epididymitis must be differentiated from testicular torsion which is a serious scrotal emergency and occurs when the spermatic cord to a testicle twists, cutting off the blood supply to the testicles. In such cases, ultrasonography can help to differentiate between the pathologies.

Treatment of Epididymitis may include anti-biotics if the condition arises due to infection or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines and pain relievers, bed rest, and also applying ice bags on the affected area for short intervals or periods. Surgical procedures such as an Epididymectomy may be performed in order to remove the inflamed section of the Epididymitis. Or a procedure called a Bi-lateral vasectomy that helps prevent fluid and sperm from passing through the epididymis.

Causes of Epididymitis

February 9th, 2011

Epididymitis is a medical condition that relates to the inflammation of the epididymis, a long coiled tube that lies above and behind each testicle and that stores, matures and carries the sperm from the testicle to the vas deferens. Inflammation of this structure, usually due to a bacterial infection or viral infection of the urinary tract that runs through the male reproductive system is called Epididymitis.

Epididymitis is most common in men between the ages of 18-35 and especially among military men who are used to exercising for long extended periods without emptying their bladders. Also, this condition is very common in sexually active men and homosexuals since Epididymitis can also be caused due to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or a non-gonococcal urethritis (Non-Specific Urethritis – (NSU) that is urethral infection usually sexually transmitted but cannot be identified). These diseases can be passed from one person to another during sexual contact and if left untreated can lead to complications, chronic Epididymitis or put a person at greater risk of contracting HIV.

Proper diagnosis of Epididymitis, including a medical history of the patient, physical examination and laboratory tests such as analysis of the urine, sperm or discharges from the urethra and DNA tests are important in order to determine the underlying cause of the condition which generally can also be due to pus-generating bacteria related to infections in other body parts, or non-bacterial causes such as reflux of sterile urine, tulerculosis, brucellosis, and or after a prostate surgery. A color Doppler ultrasound is a preferred test in order to differentiate Epididymitis from testicular torsion; a more serious condition that requires immediate hospital admission.

Common symptoms of Epididymitis include pain felt in the scrotum, swelling, tenderness or a sensation of heaviness in the testicle area. Symptoms can vary from mild to acute pain that lasts for more than 6 weeks that can be chronic. Treatment generally includes taking anti-biotics to cure the infection, pain relievers, applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce the inflammation and or surgery.

There are certain factors that can increase the risk of the occurrence of Epididymitis and of developing further complications, such as being uncircumcised, history of structural problems in the urinary tract, sexual intercourse with more than one partner and without using a condom, the use of certain medicines that prevents abnormal heart rhythm, and regular use of urethral catheter.

Symptoms of Epididymitis

February 9th, 2011

Epididymitis refers to the condition of inflammation and infection of the epididymis, which is the long coiled tubular structure at the back of the testicle and attached to the upper part of each testicle, that stores and matures the sperm and carries it to the vas deferens till ejaculation. 

Epididymitis is most common in young men between the ages of 18-35, and is the major cause of sudden scrotal pain. Symptoms of Epididymitis may range from mild to acute (lasting for more than 6 weeks) or rarely chronic and is generally caused by the spread of bacterial infection or by a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as Chlamydia and or gonorrhea, from the urethra or the bladder.

Symptoms of Epididymitis may also include a low-grade fever, chills, tenderness and or heaviness felt in the testicle area. The affected testicles may become red, swollen, and very sensitive to pressure and may feel warm and heavy. Initially, there might be pain or discomfort felt in the lower abdomen and pelvis, painful and frequent discharge of urine from the urethra (opening at the end of the penis) and urinary urgency, and pain localized to the scrutom as the inflammation descends to the lower segment of the epididymis. Older patients may suffer from urine retention or reflux of sterile urine without infection from bladder outlet obstruction due to inflammation, and injury or infection of the scrutom that causes irritation from urine that has accumulated in the vas deferens.

Epididymitis symptoms mostly depend on the cause of the condition and can lead to further complications if not properly diagnosed and treated. Symptoms of severe or chronic pain can also include a lump on the testicle, painful intercourse or ejaculation, enlarge nymph nodes in the groin (inguinal nodes), testicle pain that gets worse during bowel movement, and blood in the semen. Diagnosis that includes physical examination and laboratory tests such as complete blood count, Doppler ultrasound, testicular scan, urinalysis and urine culture and tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea are important to distinguish this condition from testicular torsion, which is a serious emergency and is treated with surgery at the earliest.

Treatment for Epididymitis usually includes prescribed medications such as anti-biotics to treat the infection especially if the condition is relating to a sexually transmitted disease, or pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines, as well as bed rest, and applying ice packs to the affect painful area.

Treatment of Epididymitis

February 9th, 2011

Epididymitis is a condition relating to the inflammation or swelling of a part of the male reproductive system called the epididymis. Epididymis is a curved structure within the scrotum attached at the back and top of each testicle. Its main function is to store, mature and transport spermatozoa (sperm) between the testis and the vas deferens. Inflammation in this part of the male reproductive system is called Epididymitis.

Symptoms of Epididymitis syndrome consisting of pain, swelling, and inflammation may be acute (<6 weeks) to severe and chronic that is characterized by a 3 months prolonged history of symptoms of pain and/or discomfort in the testicle, scrotum, or epididymis that is clinically examined and diagnosed to identify the underlying cause of the condition which generally relates to bacterial or viral infection of the urinary tract that spreads into the male reproductive system.

However, Epididymitis condition can also be caused by infection due to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as Chlymydia and or gonorrhea in sexually active men, and homosexuals. The condition is most common in men between the ages of 18-39. In older men the cause of epididymitis is usually due to infection caused by urine influx or after a prostate surgery complication.

Treatment of Epididymitis that is caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or other infection is usually by consuming antibiotic medicines. Empirical therapy is recommended even before laboratory tests are available and analyzed. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines and pain relievers are indicated as initial treatment, furthermore, bed rest, applying ice packs to the affected area, and wearing athletic supports if the pain is due to injury to the scrotum is the cause of the condition. If the pain is severe then a local anesthetic may be injected directly into the spermatic cord.

Although in majority, cases of Epididymitis can be treated on an out-patient basis, however, if the pain is severe and persists despite undergoing normal treatment then further diagnosis is suggested to differentiate the condition from testicular torsion, testicular infarction, or abscess. Strenuous activities should be avoided during the condition, as well as it is highly recommended that the patient refrains from having sexual intercourse with another person if the condition is caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD).  Surgical procedures such as an Epididymectomy (removal of the infection through a small incision in the scrotum) and Bilateral vasectomy may be performed for chronic conditions.