Epididymitis

Date:2017-04-20 click:
Epididymitis is an inflammation in epididymis, a tube that located at the back of the testicles that stores and carries sperm. When this tube is infected and becomes swollen, it can cause pain and swelling in the testicles. Epididymitis rarely induces complications, however, it can lead to male infertility. 
 
This is what happens if you have epididymitis:

epididymitis
Acute epididymitis is caused by urinary tract infection spreading from vas deferens to epididymis. The operation of transurethral device, frequent catheterization and indwelling catheter after prostatectomy are all the causes of epididymitis. 
 
Imcomplete treatment can make acute epididymitis develop into chronic epididymitis. The most common pathogenic bacteria are Escherichia coli, followed by Proteus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Chlamydia trachomatis can also cause acute epididymitis. 
 
Most of the pathogenic bacteria enter the epididymis retrogradely through the vas deferens. In addition, epididymitis can also be caused by bacteria invading epididymis through lymphatics or blood, but it is rare. 
 
Symptoms
 
It can be classified into two types: acute epididymitis and chronic epididymitis. The acute one usually lasts for 6 weeks or less while the chronic one lasts for more than 6 weeks.  
 
1. Acute epididymitis

The onset of acute epididymitis is dramatic. It can cause a series of symptoms including fever and chills, pain and redness in the infected scrotum, pain in groins and lower abdomen, swelling and tenderness in epididymis and testicle, etc.
 
2. Chronic epididymitis

The symptoms of this form is milder than acute one. It can cause scrotal swelling, pain in lower abdomen and ipsilateral inner thigh, enlarged and hardened epididymis, thickened ipsilateral vas deferens, pain during sexual intercourse and ejaculation, pain during urination or bowel movements, etc. If it’s bilateral chronic epididymitis, it will cause low sperm count and induce infertility.  
 
Epididymitis is usually accompanied with a urinary track infection. Thus, you will also suffer from urinary symptoms if you have epididymitis. Generally, you will have urinary frequency and urgency, and pain when urinating.

Diagnosis
 
Your doctor will begin with a physical exam to check your groin area to look for any lymph node enlargement and check your scrotal and testicular areas to look for any swelling of the testicles. Your doctor may also do a digital rectal examination to check the tenderness or enlargement of the prostate. After that, you doctor might conduct diagnostic tests:   
 
1. STI Screening: Your doctor will obtain a sample of the discharge from your urethra. The sample is checked in laboratory to look for bacteria like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
 
2. Urine and blood tests: The sample of your urine and blood are checked for infections. 
 
3. Ultrasound: This test can look at the blood flow to the testicles, which is used to rule out testicular torsion. It indicates testicular torsion if the blood flow is lower than normal. And it is a confirmed case of epididymitis if the blood flow is higher.
 
Am I at risk of infertility if I have epididymitis? 

Yes, you are if you have chronic epididymitis. The duration of acute epididymitis is not long, thus, the damages to the body is not severe if the symptoms can be controlled effectively. However, since the chronic form will last for months or years, it will cause further damages to your reproductive system if the condition can’t be cured fully. 

As mentioned above, epididymis is responsible for storing and carrying sperm. When multiple infections occur in this area, it can prevent the sperm from having the ability to enter the vaginal area, which resulting in infertility. 

Treatment

Epididymitis is commonly caused by a bacterial infection or sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Therefore, it is normally treated with antibiotics. This medication treatment is especially effective in acute epididymitis. For curing chronic epididymitis, your doctor will prescribe you with prolonged antibiotics. 

If it caused by an STI, your sexual partner also needs to have a treatment. You should take the entire course of antibiotics your doctor prescribed even if you feel better or the symptoms disappear to make sure the infection is cleared completely. Both of you and your partner should avoid sexual intercourse until the infection is cured fully.    

If your pain is severe, you can take pain-relievers and anti-inflammatory agents to ease the pain. Except for the medication treatment, you should also have some physical therapies to relieve the symptoms, such as getting bed rest, elevating your scrotum, applying cold packs to your scrotum for 30 minutes at a time, wearing an athletic supporter, and avoiding lifting heavy objects and performing strenuous activities.  
 
After your symptoms disappear, you should have a follow-up visit to check that the infection has completely cleared up. If it hasn’t, your doctor may prescribe you with a stronger antibiotic. However, most of epididymitis can be cleared up within three months.
 
If there is formation of an abscess, you might need a surgical procedure (epididymectomy) to drain it. In some cases, the affected epididymis needs to be completely or partially removed. However, this procedure has high risk of infertility. 
 
You may also take herbal treatment into consideration for it is safer than antibiotics.  Chinese herbal medicine is a form of natural herbal treatment. This traditional medication treatment has been used for over 3000 years in China. Even in the 21st century, it is still of great vitality and plays an important role worldwide.

Herbal medicine Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill uses more than 50 kinds of natural herbs that have specific properties. The properties of each herb have been tested thoroughly before extracting. The reasonable combination and scientific dosage of the herbs make the pill more effective in treating epididymitis. 
 
TCM holds a view that “No obstruction no pain, and vice versa,” which means the pain is caused by the blood and Qi blockage. Qi is the vital substance constituting the human body. It also refers to the physiological functions of organs and meridians.

Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill alleviates the pain and swelling by improving blood and Qi flow. This herbal medicine also contains herbs that provide effect to promote diuresis to increase the urine flow so that the bacteria and anti-inflammatory substances can be flushed out. Thus, the urinary symptoms can be resolved. Since there are anti-bacterial herbs in the pill, the root causes can be eliminated as well.
 
It takes time for herbal medicine to work on the infections since the effect to the body is not formed in a single day. Though it needs more time to clear up the infection, it can provides you with a safer treatment and thorough cure! It  has cured a large number of epididymitis patients, which can be a new hope for you.

You may also be interested in:

Clinical Case - Chronic Epididymitis
Epididymitis Cured Completely By Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill
Chronic Epididymitis Diet

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