What is epididymitis?
At the back of the testicle, there is a coiled tube called the epididymis, the home of sperm. Epididymitis is the inflammation of this tube.
Symptoms of epididymitis
Common symptoms of epididymitis include:
+ Swelling or redness in the scrotum
+ Soreness, often in one side, of the testicle
+ Frequent or painful urination
+ Penile discharge
+ Painful ejaculation
+ Testicle lump
+ Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
+ Abdominal pain
+ Blood in the semen
When to seek medical help?
Most men tend to ignore pains in the private part, which is not very wise. Scrotal pain can be the warning signs of many serious health problems. If the pain is severe or if you experience penile discharge and pain, it is best to visit a doctor as soon as possible.
What causes epididymitis?
Major causes of epididymitis are:
+ STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia
+ Bacterial infections
+ Amiodarone (Pacerone)
+ Urine in the epididymis (The urine flows back into the epididymis)
+ Groin injuries
+ Tuberculosis infection
Complications of epididymitis
If left untreated, epididymitis may result in:
+ Scrotal abscess
+ Reduced fertility
How is it diagnosed?
First, your doctor will do a physical exam to check for visible signs of the condition such as swelling. Then, you may need:
+ STI screening
+ Urine and blood tests
Treatment options for epididymitis
If your condition is caused by a bacterial infection, you will be prescribed antibiotics. In case your infection is an STI, your sexual partner will need treatment as well. The most important thing is to complete the whole course of your prescription to make sure the infection is actually gone. It may take some time, up to weeks, for the discomforts to disappear. To help with that, you can use an athletic strap to support the scrotum, apply ice packs, take painkillers, and have plenty of rest. It is advised to have a follow-up with your doctor to reevaluate your condition. In most cases, epididymitis heals within 3 months.
If you already have an abscess in the area, your doctor might recommend surgery to drain it. Some cases require an epididymectomy, which is the removal of all or part of the epididymis.
What else can you do to relieve the pain?
+ Lie down and rest
+ Avoid lifting heavy things
+ Do not have sex until you are totally cured
How to prevent epididymitis?
Epididymitis is often caused by STIs. So, the best way to protect yourself is practicing safe sex. If you have other infections that can cause epididymitis, ask your doctor how to prevent epididymitis from recurring.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.