Medicine speaks of spermatitis when the spermatic cords of a man or a male mammal are inflamed. Also known as funiculitis, spermatitis can occur when inflammation of the vas deferens ( called deferentitis ) or testicles ( orchitis ) is left untreated or otherwise progresses too far.
What is spermatitis?
A spermatitis or funiculitis refers to an inflammation of the vas deferens in men. Most often, this occurs as a result of inflammation of the testicles, epididymis, or vas deferens. Another and common cause can be gonorrhea (colloquially called gonorrhea). For definition of hyperplasia in English, please visit acronymmonster.com.
The spermatitis is usually associated with great pain and symptoms such as fever and must be examined and treated by a doctor. Because quite often spermatitis occurs when the basic cause of this was not treated in time or not professionally. Long-term consequences such as permanent damage to the affected spermatic cord due to adhesions and subsequent impairment of fertility cannot be ruled out.
Because it most often follows inflammation of the vas deferens, testicles, or epididymis, the underlying cause of funiculitis is often found in these. However, these are usually caused by bacterial inflammation of the urinary tract or prostate, so that the root cause of spermatitis can also be found in these.
According to numerous medical records and studies, testicular inflammation occurs much more frequently than inflammation of the epididymis. Inflammation of the vas deferens occurs even more frequently, however, since the pathogens spread from the urinary tract or the prostate via these to the male genital organs. Often spermatitis does not only occur after, but already during an inflammation of the testicles, the prostate or the vas deferens.
Chlamydia is another cause of inflammation of the male sex organs and thus often also of the spermatic cord in men under the age of 35. In men over the age of 35, however, spermatitis is more common in men who have a urinary catheter.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The symptoms of spermatitis are very similar to those of an inflammation of the vas deferens or the testicles – also because they are often associated with them. As a rule, the first severe symptoms of funiculitis appear within 7 to 14 days after the onset of the disease. However, since inflammation of the spermatic cords is usually a secondary disease, the symptoms of the basic inflammation often turn into the symptoms of funiculitis.
Patients often report that the symptoms get worse or first subside and then reappear. Typical symptoms of spermatitis are high fever (up to 40 °C), slight swelling of the testicles, warm and reddened skin, and pain in the testicles, lower abdomen and groin.
Diagnosis & course of disease
Since spermatitis usually occurs together with another inflammation of the male genital organs and the symptoms are very similar, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose them on their own. Nevertheless, it is important to consult a specialist in urology – in good time when the first symptoms appear. Only he can accurately assess the symptoms based on their type and location and thus initiate a suitable therapy.
This may even happen before the basic inflammation spreads to the spermatic cords. Incidentally, the specialist doctor now has means such as ultrasound and X-ray examinations of the lower abdomen, the groin and the testicles, but also blood and urine tests available to the specialist for the diagnosis. In addition, the doctor will make a diagnosis by interviewing the patient and doing a physical examination.
Usually, spermatitis can be treated well with antibiotics. At the same time, painkillers are administered, since the inflammation of the spermatic cords is associated with severe and excruciating pain. The pain can also be alleviated by applying cool compresses to the abdomen.
However, it should be noted that the envelopes should never be too cold. The function of the testicles and spermatic cords depends on heat. If the treatment is too cold, this can lead to permanent functional limitations. As part of the antibiotic treatment, the spermatitis should have subsided after two weeks. In rare cases, however, the symptoms persist despite the therapy.
Then, under certain circumstances, pus-containing inflammations have formed, which threaten the function of the testicles and the spermatic cords. In these cases, extremely painful swelling of the spermatic cord occurs, which can lead to fibrosis and adhesions. This is a complication of spermatitis, as a result of which there is a risk of infertility. Under these circumstances, an operation is necessary.
If this is carried out in good time, fertility can be preserved. In very rare cases, however, sometimes it is not just about preserving fertility, but even saving life. The infection can spread to the entire body and lead to life-threatening complications, especially in people with other underlying diseases or in immunocompromised patients.
When should you go to the doctor?
A spermatitis should always be treated by a doctor. In most cases, self-healing cannot occur, so that the affected person is dependent on a medical diagnosis and examination. Only early medical examination and treatment can prevent further complications. For this reason, a doctor should be consulted at the first sign of spermatitis. A doctor should be consulted if the person concerned feels severe pain in the penis or testicles.
In many cases, this pain occurs for no particular reason and does not go away on its own. Severe swelling in these areas can also indicate spermatitis. Most patients also suffer from fever or severe pain in the abdomen and flanks. If these symptoms persist, a doctor must be consulted.
In most cases, spermatitis can be treated relatively well by a urologist or general practitioner. There are no particular complications and, as a rule, complete healing.
Treatment & Therapy
Funiculitis, like inflammation of the testicles, is usually treated with antibiotics and painkillers. In addition, the affected patient is prescribed a lot of rest or even bed rest for the time of recovery, which can last up to two weeks. Pain and feelings of warmth can also be relieved not only with painkillers, but also with cold compresses in the abdominal region – which can also ensure faster recovery.
However, the envelopes should not be too cold. Ice packs, which are used for sprained and injured joints, for example, should not be used here. The successful healing process is shown by the fact that the pain and symptoms gradually subside after a short time. If this is not the case, the treating specialist should be informed. And: In rare cases, such as when a severe pus-like inflammation has formed in the testicles or in the spermatic cords, an operation is necessary.
Like the triggers, spermatitis usually cannot be counteracted. However, this can possibly be avoided or its severity can be positively influenced by treating the cause in good time. This means that an inflammation of the testicles, the vas deferens or the spermatic cords with the right specialist treatment usually runs faster and with fewer problems than if it is treated too late or not at all. However, if funiculitis occurs more frequently, it is essential to look for causes that could promote it. Here too, however, the trusted urologist is the best and first point of contact.
In most cases, spermatitis requires follow-up examinations. However, the specific aftercare measures depend on the underlying disease. If there are no complications, only a few check-ups are usually required. Close monitoring after the spermatitis has healed is particularly recommended for those affected with an immune deficiency.
Depending on the cause of the disease, several examinations by a urologist or family doctor are necessary. As a rule, at least tactile examinations are carried out. Blood and urine tests are also often requested for bacterial infections. Sometimes x-rays and ultrasounds are also required.
Basically, in the first few months after the inflammation of the vas deferens, the affected patients should ensure that they develop and maintain a stable and healthy immune system. Above all, a healthy diet is essential for this. In addition, unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol should be avoided. Light exercise is also helpful.
However, the affected men should refrain from strenuous endurance exercises and high-performance sports for at least six months. In principle, sexual intercourse and masturbation are possible. However, the patient should definitely consult a urologist if pain occurs. Advanced spermatitis is treated surgically in many cases. In this case, special care is necessary.
You can do that yourself
To alleviate inflammatory diseases, the organism needs a stable and healthy immune system. In the fight against pathogens, the body’s own defense system should be supported and mobilized. A healthy lifestyle is necessary for this. A balanced diet is just as helpful as avoiding harmful substances. The consumption of nicotine or alcohol should therefore be avoided. Sufficient outdoor exercise, maintaining a normal weight and optimal sleep hygiene help the body in the healing process.
The support of a doctor should already be sought at the first health irregularities. The body’s self-healing powers, together with the prescribed medicines, can achieve the best possible recovery. The more advanced the disease, the more complications can occur and the healing path is longer. In particular, people with a known immune deficiency should promote any mobilization of the immune system in everyday life. Cognitive patterns should be checked to avoid sexual dysfunction.
Blame, blame, or low self-esteem do little to improve the overall situation. Cognitive training or relaxation techniques can be used to reduce circling thoughts. These can be used independently in states of stress. Yoga, meditation or autogenic training have proven to be helpful. In addition, the hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially in intimate situations, should be avoided.