What is Epididymitis?
The epididymis is a small tube located in the back part of the testicle, which is responsible for storing and carrying the sperm to the urethra. Epididymitis is a common condition, in which the epididymis gets inflamed due to a microbial infection. Even though males at any age can be affected by this condition, it’s more common in young men.
Epididymitis Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms can vary from man to man and depending on the severity of the inflammation. However, most men affected by epididymitis will present the following:
- Testicle pain.
- Warm testicle sensation within the touch.
- Red-colored skin of the scrotum.
- Testicle tenderness.
- Painful urination.
- Unusual morning discharge from the penis.
- Presence of blood in the semen.
- Low fever.
Epididymitis Common Causes
Epididymitis occurs as a result of the inflammation process after some microbial infection of the epididymis. Some of the most common causes include:
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including gonorrhea and chlamydia, which are the most common ones and usually affect young men.
- Microbial infection. Some other microbial infections including urinary tract bacterial infections, like Escherichia coli or some virus, like mumps virus, can cause epididymitis too.
- Direct trauma in the testicles.
Additionally, there are some risk factors that are strongly related to the development of epididymitis, including:
- Certain sexual activities
- Personal history of STIs.
- Personal history of prostate or urinary infections.
- History of any invasive procedure involving the urinary tract or the prostate.
In case you have any of the signs or symptoms related to this condition, your doctor will ask you about your personal history and will perform a proper physical exam to look after any enlargement of your testicle or any change at the touch like increased warm sensation. Additionally, your doctor will request the following tests to confirm your condition, including:
- Penile secretion sample. In order to check after any possible STI infection like gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- Urine test. A sample of your urine will be tested in order to check any possible infection or abnormality.
- Imagining tests. In case your diagnosis is not clear, your doctor will perform an ultrasound with Doppler in order to rule out any testicular torsion or another more serious condition of your testicles.
Since the principal cause of epididymitis is a bacterial infection, using antibiotics is the most important part of your treatment. Your doctor will recommend the specific antibiotic for your condition and it’s important to fully finish the entire course of antibiotics, even if you are feeling better.
In case the cause of your condition is an STI, your sexual partner will also need the same antibiotic course, even if he or she remains asymptomatic.
Most people affected by epididymitis feel better after 2 or 3 days of appropriate treatment.
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