The epididymis is a very long and very thin canal that is used to transport the spermatozoa made in the testicle to the vas deferens and the urethra. Each man, therefore, has two epididymides.
The very long epididymis
This long canal is actually attached to the testicle, upwards and to the side. Very fine, he is folded on himself. But unfolded, the epididymis reaches about 5 meters! Throughout this journey traveled sperm, they will become mature.
The spermatozoa will become more mobile, their cell nucleus will mature. They will even change a little shape (loss of cytoplasmic drops), and will acquire the property of "recognize" an egg for a possible future fertilization.
In the interior of the epididymal canal, the composition of the fluid changes, participating in the maturation of the spermatozoa.
We distinguish the top of the epididymis which is the head, and at the end: the tail. Throughout this journey, the cells lining the interior of the epididymis are not the same.
The epididymis can be a victim of a disease, various problems ... It can occur epididymal agenesis. In this case, there is a congenital defect in the development of the epididymis. This small organ has not developed normally, which will be a source of sterility in humans.
This epididymis can be a victim of inflammation, it is called epididymitis. This inflammation can be of infectious origin. The infectious agents involved are numerous: chlamydia, gonococcus ... Often, the inflammation also affects the testicle: it is an orchi-epididymitis. The main symptoms are: local pain, sometimes redness. Antibiotic treatment is necessary. The major sequela of such an attack is a risk of infertility, the interior of this long canal being obstructed by adhesions.
It can also appear a cyst on the epididymis. The patient then feels a ball, or several if there are several cysts. This cyst can be embarrassing or painful. A surgical operation is sometimes necessary to remove it. This intervention requires only one day of hospitalization, or two, in the absence of complications or unforeseen events.
Localized trauma in the testicular region can damage the epididymis.