Epididymitis: A Real Pain

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The medical condition epididymitis is the inflammation of the epididymis, the tube that connects the testicle with the vas deferens (Dugdale). The epididymis carries sperm from the testis and stores mature sperm (Roiger). An inflamed epididymis is an acutely painful condition. “Epididymitis is most common in young men ages 19 - 35. It is a major cause of hospital admissions in the military” (Dugdale).
Disease Process and Etiology
Epididymitis is typically caused by the spread of a bacterial infection from the urethra, prostate, or bladder (Dugdale). In young heterosexual men, sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are the most common infections that cause epididymitis. Epididymitis in homosexual men, children and older men is most often caused by E. coli and similar infections (Dugdale). Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) can cause epididymitis. Other bacteria, such as a small bacterium called ureaplasma, may also cause the condition. Another cause of epididymitis is the use of a medication called amiodarone, which prevents abnormal heart rhythms. Being uncircumcised, having recently had surgery, a history of structural problems in the urinary tract, regular use of a urethral catheter, sexual intercourse with more than one partner, and not using condoms are all risk factors for epididymitis (Dugdale). “Although the pathophysiology is still unproven, the most commonly accepted hypothesis [for development of epididymitis from whatever cause] is retrograde flow of infected urine into the ejaculatory duct” (Smith). Cases in the older-age group are at times related to obstructive urinary tract disease. Enteric organisms (meaning organisms found in the intestines) are also a common cause o...

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...ally is no reduction in sexual or reproductive abilities. If not treated, or in some other cases, the condition can become long-term (chronic). In chronic cases, there is usually no swelling, but there is pain” (Smith).

Epididymitis can be an embarrassing condition for a man to contract. Still, it is imperative that the patient seek treatment before the condition progresses to worse problems. The most effective way to avoid this painful medical condition is to practice safe sex.

Works Cited

1 Dugdale, David C. III, MD. Epididymitis. 30 August 2012. 10 February 2014 .
2 Roiger, Deborah, M. Ed. Anatomy and Physiology: Foundations for the Health Professions. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2013.
3 Smith, Duane M, M.D. "A Really Big Pain: Acute Epididymitis." The Aids Reader (2008): 453-455.

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