Keeping your fertility intact requires knowing what may damage it. Here is the impact of Epididymitis on male fertility.
Fertility issues can arise that may make it more difficult or even prevent individuals from being able to conceive.
One common condition that males may experience is known as epididymitis, and one of its primary symptoms is swollen testicles. Let’s explore everything you need to know about this condition.
What Exactly Is the Epididymitis?
Epididymitis inflammation of a structure called the epididymis. This tube is part of the testes that stores sperm while they’re maturing.
When the epididymis becomes inflamed, it begins to swell, which causes testicular pain. In severe cases, those who are affected may find it difficult to perform basic tasks, like walking or standing up, without pain. This condition is most common in men who are aged 20 to 39.
What Are the Different Types of Epididymitis?
Epididymitis can be acute or chronic. The symptoms that you have may vary depending on the type.
Symptoms of acute epididymitis are present for less than six weeks and usually consist of pain in one testicle, inflammation, and swelling of the testicle. It’s often caused by things like infections (urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted infections) and inflammation from medications. The symptoms may be mild or severe. Even when the symptoms are mild, infections and inflammation may still affect fertility, so it’s important to consult a healthcare provider.
Chronic epididymitis lasts for an extended period of time, usually longer than three months. The inflammation and pain may progress or increase over time. One difference between acute and chronic epididymitis is that swelling is often absent in the chronic type. However, since symptoms are present for months, they may have a significant impact on your quality of life as well as on fertility.
What Are the Symptoms of Epididymitis?
Epididymitis often begins with pain in one or both testicles. Acute epididymitis often presents with a swollen testicle as well, with a sense of fullness or heaviness on the affected side. There may be increased pain in specific positions or during certain movements. It’s not uncommon for those who suffer from epididymitis to find athletic activity relatively uncomfortable. In some cases, there’s also pain during sexual intercourse.
Other common symptoms include:
- Redness in the testicles or scrotum
- Discharge from the penis
- Nausea or vomiting
- Low-grade fever
- Burning on urination
If you are experiencing symptoms of epididymitis, it’s important to speak to a healthcare professional.
How Does Epididymitis Cause Male Fertility Concerns?
Epididymitis may cause fertility problems in several ways, including:
- Inflammation: Over time, inflammation can damage the testicles and lead to decreased sperm production. Epididymitis is often linked to poor semen quality and low sperm count during the infection and treatment. In many cases, the sperm count improves a few months after treatment, but in some cases the low count persists.
- Obstruction: Epididymitis may lead to blockage (obstruction) of the epididymis, making it difficult for sperm to pass through.
Dealing With Swollen Testicles May Seem Frightening
But it’s important to seek prompt care, because the sooner you notice it, the easier it is to correct. Treating the cause of swollen testicles promptly may help preserve fertility and prevent future complications.