How Contagious Is Epididymitis?
Epididymitis is characterized by inflammation and infection of epididymis, the connecting tube between testicle and vas deferens. Men aged between 19 and 35 years, usually fall victim to this bacterial infection which is usually caused by Chlamydia and gonorrhea. This article will cover the frequently asked questions regarding epididymitis.
Does Epididymitis Spread By Sexual Means?
By itself, epididymitis is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) however the causative agents of this infection can be easily transmitted through penetrative sex. In men below 35 years of age, Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted sexually and leads to epididymitis.
What Are Some Other Causes Of Epididymitis?
Other causes of epididymitis include:
- UTIs (urinary tract infections)
- Surgery of urinary tract
- Prostatitis, which may spread all the way to the testicles
What Are The Classic Symptoms Of Epididymitis?
Epididymitis may present with following signs and symptoms:
- Tender, swollen testicles
- Excruciating pain in the testicles
- Penile discharge from the end
Upon experiencing the above symptoms, it is highly recommended to consult your healthcare practitioner. Your doctor may
advise a number of tests to diagnose the condition as well as causative agent in order to prescribe the appropriate treatment.
This may include collecting urine or discharge samples and sending the specimen to the laboratory for sensitivity and culture testing. The sample collection is done after waking up in the morning. The doctor may even recommend a blood test
fordetecting the causative agent for infection. Once the cause of infection is found, the doctor may prescribe the antibiotics to treat the infection.
How Is Epididymitis Treated?
In order to provide symptomatic relief and avoid potential complications, it is necessary to begin the treatment soon aft
er the diagnosis. Untreated and undetected infection can lead to the spread of infection. The first line of treatment is usually the use of antibiotics. They tend to alleviate the symptoms within the duration of 3 days. The doctor may begin the treatment course prior to obtaining the blood and urine test results just to reduce the risk of complications.
What Else Can Be Done To Reduce The Associated Pain?
Taking warm tub soaks and resting in bed can significantly help in relieving the pain. Analgesic (pain killers) medications can also be taken for this purpose.
How Can It Be Prevented?
Epididymitis can be prevented by getting urethritis or urinary tract infections treated in a timely fashion. Untreated prostate or bladder infection can also promote epididymitis. Prompt treatment is always the ticket out from unnecessary and unwanted complications. Early treatment also prevents the infection from spreading to the testicles.
Is It Important To Inform The Sex Partner?
If the doctor has diagnosed Chlamydia or gonorrhea to be the causative agents of infection then informing the partner is very important so that they can also get tested and treated. Having penetrative sex 2 months before experiencing the symptoms means that the infection has been passed on to the sexual partner. It is best to avoid sex during until the infection completely clears away.
Untreated epididymitis can bring about complications like:
- Severe damage to the testicles
- Increased risk of infertility
- Severe pain in the testicles
- Himabindu, B., Madhu, P., & Reddy, P. S. (2015). Diabetes and alcohol: double jeopardy with regard to oxidative toxicity and sexual dysfunction in adult male Wistar rats. Reproductive Toxicology, 51, 57-63.
- Jodar, M., Soler-Ventura, A., Oliva, R., of Reproduction, M. B., & Development Research Group. (2017). Semen proteomics and male infertility. Journal of proteomics, 162, 125-134.