Are you suffering from a swollen lump at the back of your testicle? If you are, you may be having a condition called Epididymitis. Read on and know what is Epididymitis, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and cure.
Epididymitis medical definition is given as an inflammation or infection of the Epididymis, a coiled tubular structure at the back of the testicles that stores and carries the male sperm. This tube-like thing connects the testis with the vas deferens. Sperms mature in the Epididymis and are transferred to the Vas Deferens, the epithelial duct. It is the Vas Deferens that takes the sperms out of the Epididymis during ejaculation.
An inflammation in the Epididymis is called Epididymitis. In some people, the swelling spreads to the testicles. The condition is then known as Epididymo-orchitis.
Epididymitis is pronounced as “Ap-ee-did-i-mee-tis”.
Symptoms of Epididymitis
Epididymitis is mainly characterized by inflammation. However, it gives to other symptoms as well such as
In sufferers of Epididymitis groin pain is a major complaint. In Epididymitis abdominal pain and pelvic discomforts are also quite common.
Victims of this disease also suffer from pain during ejaculation. This impacts the overall health of sufferers and affects their sex life as well.
Epididymitis patients often find blood being ejaculated in their semen. Blood in semen is one of the most common signs of Epididymitis.
In sufferers of Epididymitis burning or painful sensation while urinating is also common.
Epididymitis patients also suffer from discharge through the urethra or the aperture at the end of their penis.
Higher body temperature often accompanies groin pain and inflammation. The entire inflamed area becomes tender to touch. Fever comes with fatigue that may affect the daily lives of patients.
In some sufferers of Epididymitis blood in urine is also a major complaint. Bloody urine along with penile discharge is extremely discomforting and disturbing for the patient.
Causes of Epididymitis
Epididymitis arises due to a variety of reasons. Some of the major Epididymitis causes are
In sufferers of Epididymitis bacterial infection of the urinary tract has been found to be the main cause. This kind of infection usually arises after an improper surgery of the urinary tract or a swelling of the Prostate gland (Prostatitis) that spreads to the testis. Bacteria of genus Ureaplasma and Mycobacterium tuberculosis are the main causes of this disorder. Serious cases of Epididymitis infection are often the result of E. Coli bacteria.
Retrograde Urine Flow
If the bladder is full of urine and violent pressure forces it along the Vas Deferens, Epididymitis can arise. This is a common problem in bodybuilders who rush into the gym and start exercising on a full bladder to save time.
Pumping iron with a full bladder can push urine into the testis through the Vas Deferens. The more the amount, the worse is the Epididymitis. The problem especially happens in cases where the urine contains bacteria. It gives rise to bacterial infection.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) like Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea can also give rise to Epididymitis.
In some cases, Epididymitis arises as a side-effect of the drug Amiodarone that is used to reduce heart rate abnormalities.
Epididymitis Risk Factors
As can be guessed, you can only find Epididymitis in men. It is primarily seen to affect men in the age group 20-40. It is seen more in sexually active males. Men having unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners are at increased risk of contracting diseases like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea which raises susceptibility of suffering from this condition.
Other people who can suffer from this disease include individuals who are uncircumcised, have structural defects in their urinary tract or regularly use urethral catheter. People who have recently had a urinary tract surgery can also suffer from this disorder.
Initial Epididymitis examination usually begins with physical tests that show a swollen red, tender lump on the affected edge of the scrotum. An experienced physician checks whether inflammation is a result of localized swelling of lymph nodes in the groin region.
In sufferers of Epididymitis tests like Testicular Scan, Complete Blood Count, and Urinalysis are carried out to differentiate the disease from other similar conditions. A Rectal examination may be performed to see whether a tender or enlarged prostate is the cause of swelling. A Doppler Ultrasound Test may also be carried out to see whether there is an increased flow of blood to the affected Epididymis.
Written by anirudh
on April 19th, 2011. The article was last updated on September 1st, 2011