Epididymis is a tightly coiled tube present above and behind each testicle. The testis produces sperms. These sperms travel and mature through epididymis and move to the vas deferens where they pass to prostrate for ejaculation through penis. Any inflammation of the epididymis is called Epididymitis. This results in pain and swelling of scrotum (covering of testicles) and epididymis. Infection causes scarring of the tubes which blocks the movement of the sperms into epididymis. This causes fertility problems in men.
Epididymitis affects men of different ages. It is more common in age ranging from 14-35 years and is caused by sexually transmitted disease (STDs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea. In children, it is caused by spread of urinary bladder infection to epididymis. In elder men, it is caused due to enlargement of prostate gland.
Does Epididymitis Go Away On Its Own?
Acute epididymitis does not go on its own and needs to be treated. If a person depends on self–healing, the symptoms may get worse and develop chronic epididymitis.
What are the Long Term Effects of Epididymitis?
The Symptoms of Acute Epididymitis Which Cause Discomfort Include:
- Fever and chills
- Redness and swelling of scrotum
- Abnormal discharge through penis
- Passing of urine is painful (sometimes blood is seen in urine)
- Painful intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the abdomen.
When not treated, these symptoms of Epididymitis get worse and lead to further complications. Thus, the long term effects of epididymitis are as follows:
- Development of persistent chronic epididymitis. The inflammation does not heal easily with treatment; it keeps on recurring and is a long time problem.
- In case of severe infection, testicles are highly infected. There is abscess accumulation inside epididymis which damages epididymis and testicles and results in infertility.
- The epididymis may be scarred which blocks the movement of sperms from testicles into epididymis due to which there is no sperm during ejaculation. This too leads to infertility.
- There is shrinkage of testicles with possibly death of testicular tissue.
- There are chances that the infection may spread from scrotum to other parts of body.
Prevention of Epididymitis
The precautionary measures for epididymitis include:
- The patient with STD should not engage in sexual intercourse. He should also disclose his epididymitis to his partner.
- Full course of treatment should be completed so that the symptoms do not recur.
- After treatment, it may happen that there may be consistent pain. This should not be ignored, since there is likelihood that chronic epididymitis has recurred. Thus, one should seek medical help.
Acute Epididymitis should get treated immediately and should not be ignored. It does not go on its own and needs to be treated quickly. Appropriate treatment is essential to prevent the long term serious complications especially since it yields to loss of male fertility.