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Epididymitis Causes and Risk Factors

Date:2011-11-04 click:

 Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm. The most common signs and symptoms of epididymitis are pain and swelling. Males of any age can get epididymitis, but it's most common in men between the ages of 20 and 39.


Epididymitis is most often caused by a bacterial infection or by a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. In some cases, the testicle also may become inflamed - a condition called epididymo-orchitis. It can be also caused by inflammation of the prostate or the testis.


Epididymitis has a number of causes, including:


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).STDs, particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia, are the most common cause of epididymitis in young, sexually active men.


Other infections.Boys, older men and homosexual men are more likely to have epididymitis caused by a non-sexually transmitted bacterial infection. For men and boys who've had urinary tract infections or prostate infections, bacteria may spread from the infected site to the epididymis. Rarely, epididymitis is caused by a fungal infection.


The heart medication amiodarone.In some cases, this anti-arrhythmic medication causes inflammation of the epididymis. Epididymitis caused by amiodarone is treated by temporarily discontinuing the drug or reducing the dose.


Tuberculosis.In some cases, tuberculosis can cause epididymitis.


Urine in the epididymis.Known as chemical epididymitis, this occurs when urine flows backward into the epididymis. It may occur with heavy lifting or straining.


Sexually transmitted epididymitis


Several factors increase your risk of getting epididymitis caused by an STD, including:


High-risk sexual behaviors,such as having multiple sex partners, having sex with a partner with an STD and having sex without a condom.


Personal history of an STD.You're at increased risk of an infection that causes epididymitis if you've had an STD in the past.


Non-STD infections


Several things increase your risk of epididymitis caused by an infection other than an STD, including:


Past prostate or urinary tract infections.Chronic urinary tract infections or prostate infections are linked to bacterial infections that can cause epididymitis.


An uncircumcised penis or an anatomical abnormality of the urinary tract.These conditions increase your risk of epididymitis caused by a bacterial infection.


Medical procedures that affect the urinary tract.Procedures such as surgery or having a urinary catheter or scope inserted into the penis can introduce bacteria into the genital-urinary tract, leading to infection.


Prostate enlargement.Having an enlarged prostate that obstructs bladder function and causes urine to remain in the bladder puts you at higher risk of bladder infections, which increases the risk of epididymitis.


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