Inflammation of the inguinal canal
In addition to some blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves, the inguinal canal contains the spermatic cord in men and the round uterine ligament in women, which is part of the uterine fastening apparatus and extends into the labia majora.
Inflammation of the inguinal canal in men is mostly based on inflammation that originates in the testicles, epididymis or prostate and spreads along the vas deferens.
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If the testicles or the epididymis become inflamed, the inflammation can spread through the spermatic duct into the inguinal canal. An inflammation of the testicles / epididymis occurs in connection with an inflammation of the urinary tract, sexually transmitted diseases or as part of an infection with the mumps virus. Men who have already gone through puberty, in particular, suffer from testicular inflammation during mumps. Autoimmune reactions or the use of the antiarrhythmic amiodarone can also lead to inflammation of the testicles and / or epididymis.
Read more about this in our main article: What are the causes of testicular inflammation?
Inflammation of the prostate, which can spread to the vas deferens in the inguinal canal, often occurs with bladder emptying disorders or after manipulations or operations on the urinary tract.
Often, pain in the inguinal canal also occurs as a result of inflammation in neighboring body regions, such as the internal and external genital organs, the rectum or the legs. These distant inflammatory processes lead to swelling of the lymph nodes in the inguinal canal.
To make a diagnosis, the doctor will perform a physical exam. This also includes an examination of the anus including the rectum, which enables the examiner to feel an inflamed prostate. A urine and blood sample will also be checked for signs of inflammation. A urine culture and a swab of the urethra can help identify the pathogen.
An ultrasound examination of the scrotum can also be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Men who suffer from inflammation that spreads along the spermatic duct in the inguinal canal often experience pain that can manifest itself not only in the inguinal canal, but also throughout the genital area and lower abdomen. The pain is particularly severe when urinating and ejaculating.
In addition, the lymph nodes in the groin in particular are painfully enlarged. The surrounding skin is reddened and overheated. Body temperature can also be increased as part of severe inflammation and chills can occur along with a general feeling of weakness.
Also read: Lymph node swelling in the groin - is it dangerous?
Since the inflammation is usually increased, in addition to the painful inguinal canal, the testicles / epididymis can also be heated and painfully swollen. A reddened scrotum can be seen from the outside.
An inflamed prostate is particularly painful during bowel movements and around the perineum. Chronic prostate inflammation can lead to erectile dysfunction and difficult emptying of the bladder.
Read something on the subject here: Burning in the groin.
Treatment / therapy
In the case of bacterial inflammation, therapy with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs is initiated. If the pathogen could previously be verified with a urine sample, the antibiotic therapy can be specifically adapted to the bacterium. Before the exact pathogen is determined, one quickly begins with an antibiotic that covers the probable pathogen spectrum.
If the inflammation has spread to such an extent that e.g. In the context of prostate inflammation urination is not possible without symptoms, medication can also be prescribed to make urination easier. An example of this is tamsulosin.
If it is a mumps - testicular infection, antibiotics are not effective. Purely symptomatic therapy is carried out here.
If the symptoms of testicular inflammation do not subside during therapy, the testicle must be surgically removed.
If the pathogen is sexually transmitted, sexual intercourse must be avoided until the treatment has been completed. The patient's partner should also be given therapy.
Antibiotic therapy should always be carried out for as long as prescribed by the doctor. Even if the symptoms disappear after a few days, the drug should be taken for the set period of time in order to prevent the disease from recurring quickly or the bacteria developing resistance.
In general, the duration of therapy depends heavily on the severity and spread of the inflammation.