How Does Epididymitis Cause Male Infertility
Epididymitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the testicles. It is a chronic, incredibly painful disease that develops as an enlarged epididymis and a swollen scrotum, with pain, pyuria, and fever. Epididymis infections typically spread via the vas deferens or spermatic cord lymphatics from the urinary tract to the epididymis.
In men, between the ages of 18 and 50, epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis) is the fifth most common urologic diagnosis and is one of the most common causes of urological morbidity. Epididymitis must be distinguished from a true urologic emergency, the torsion of the testicles. Even children may also be affected by epididymitis, which is most commonly seen in outpatient settings. A condition known as epididymal-orchitis occurs when epididymitis and orchitis coexist. The symptoms of acute epididymitis, which are a pain in the scrotum and swelling of the scrotum, last for less than six weeks. Chronic epididymitis is characterized by pain that persists for more than three months without visible swelling of the scrotum.
What Are Epididymitis and Its Function?
The term epididymitis refers to a health condition in which the epididymis becomes inflamed. The epididymis is a long, coiled tube, measured nearly 20 feet long, which lies in the back of the testicles and is responsible for carrying the sperm to the uterus. Its primary role is to preserve the sperm generated by the testicles before ejaculation. An epididymis can take nearly two weeks to make sperm from one end to the other. The sperm cells mature during this period and are able to fertilize the egg cells of a woman. As a result of inflammation or infection occurring in this tube, epididymitis develops. There is no age limit to the condition; it can affect men of all ages. However, young men between the ages of 19 and 50 are most susceptible to it.
What Are the Types of Epididymitis?
Epididymitis classified into two types one is acute epididymitis and another one is chronic epididymitis.
Acute epididymitis develops suddenly, with pain and inflammation. This type of epididymitis usually lasts for a time of six weeks or less.
Chronic epididymitis presents with duller pain and develops slowly. This is a long-term issue that will endure more than 6 weeks. There is no age limit to the condition, as it can affect males of any age.
When Should You See a Doctor?
You shouldn’t ignore when the pain or swelling occurs in your scrotum, which can be caused by several conditions. In some cases, they must be treated immediately to prevent permanent damage.
If you are experiencing significant severe scrotal pain, get the immediate right medical assistance. You should consult a doctor if your penis discharges or you are experiencing urinary pain.
Causes of Epididymitis
Most epididymitis cases are caused by bacterial infections, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There is also the possibility for the testicles to become inflamed in a condition called epididymal-orchitis – an inflammation of the testicles.
It has been reported that some epididymitis cases are caused by E-coli bacteria, or by bacteria that are associated with tuberculosis in rare cases.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
In most cases, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are spread through direct contact between sexual partners. Most are quite common, and the most successful treatment is available – for the most part in the early stages.
A total of 400,000 epididymitis cases are reported every year in India, most of which occur in men between 18 and 50. Men over the age of 30 generally develop epididymitis when they have an infection in the bladder or urinary tract that is causing an infection in the epididymis.
Symptoms of Epididymitis
An epididymis that has been infected by bacteria gradually becomes swollen and painful over time. Most of the time, this occurs only on one testicle and not on both. Without treatment, the condition is likely to last for up to six weeks.
These are some other possible symptoms you might experience:
- Inflammation or tenderness of the testes in the scrotum
- Bloody urine
- A lump on your testicle
- Intense pain in your lower abdomen
- Lymph nodes enlargement in the groin
- The act of urinating or ejaculating is painful
- Peeing more often or urgently
Consult your physician if you experience any of these symptoms.
It is important to understand that treatment of epididymitis involves resolving the underlying infection that is causing the symptoms to improve. This is done to allow the patient can return to normal.
In most cases, antibiotics are the treatment of choice for epididymitis. The doctor could prescribe antibiotics before the results of a lab test are even available if they suspect you have epididymitis.
There is a good chance that you; will have to take those medications for one or two weeks, and you will usually begin to feel better within a few days of starting them. It is important, to complete your antibiotic course regardless of how you feel, even if you feel better afterward.
You may still feel sore for weeks or months after your antibiotics take effect. Epididymitis can be treated in many ways, such as over-the painkillers, elevating your scrotum, or cold compresses so that you can reduce the swelling and pain associated with the injury.
How Does Epididymitis Lead To Male Infertility?
Having epididymitis can lead to male infertility for several reasons. The common conditions include:
An Epididymis Tube That Has Become Blocked
There is a direct connection between the epididymis and the epididymis tube. Therefore, if an infection or inflammation occurs in the epididymis, it can spread to the epididymis tube as well. When the epididymis tube becomes infected, it can block the sperm’s journey through it, thus inhibiting its transmission. So, generally, it can lead to infertility.
Acute Testicular Infarction
In most cases, both sides of the testicle are affected by infarction, resulting in infertility. It damages the function of your testicles and causes swelling, pain, and discomfort.
The Anti-sperm Antibody
Many people carry antibodies that cause their sperm to be destroyed, resulting in infertility. About one-third of epididymitis patients often possess anti-sperm antibodies, which can result in infertility.