Lymph nodes play an important role in the human immune system. They act as tiny filters that retain viruses and bacteria, which are then destroyed by white blood cells. Lymph nodes also produce substances that kill pathogens. If the lymph node in the groin is inflamed, what does that mean?
Symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the groin
Our body includes more than 600 lymph nodes. They form a network that runs in all parts of the body, with the exception of the brain and heart. Most lymph nodes are clustered around the armpits, groin and neck. They are also located deep in the chest and abdomen.
Lymph nodes usually reach from 0.5 to 1.5 cm in diameter depending on their location and, as a rule, do not exceed the size of a pea. Inflammation of the lymph nodes is called lymphadenitis and occurs when the body fights infection.
Nodes are actually filled with immune blood cells and lymphocytes. The inguinal lymph nodes have some peculiarities:
- The groin contains a chain of lymph nodes, which are rarely inflamed by chance, unlike armpits.
- These specific nodes belong to the network of lymphatic vessels, radiating from the legs and buttocks, as well as organs located in the small pelvis.
- Abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes at the groin level is a symptom of possible pathologies in this area.
In general, the symptoms of this inflammation are fairly obvious, and it is important to know all the signs that may appear:
- areas of swelling and compaction are detected in the groin, a small lump is formed;
- redness of the skin may form at the site of inflammation;
- there is pain in the area of the bumps swelling;
- for painful sensations, you may experience discomfort in the perineum while walking;
- the seal to the touch appears as a hard lump rolling under the skin when pressed with a finger;
- at the site of inflammation, reddened skin may have a slight increase in temperature;
- if the lymph node inflammation is associated with purulent processes, then the worsening condition of the patient is accompanied by a rise in temperature to subfebrile values, headache, chills, general weakness, that is, intoxication syndrome;
- In the general analysis of blood, inflammatory changes are manifested, which are manifested in an increased concentration of leukocytes and a high erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
Doctor, I have a lump in my groin
The reasons for which inflammation of the inguinal lymph nodes occurs is a variety of pathologies in organs or tissues covered by the lymph from the legs and perineum. It can be:
- mechanical damage from injuries, cuts and burns;
- the effect of hypothermia;
- foci of suppuration;
- infectious invasions, including fungal lesions;
- malignant and benign tumors, lymphoma;
- blood disorders;
- sexually transmitted diseases;
- autoimmune diseases, HIV;
- dermatological problems.
This is not a complete list of factors that provoke inflammation of the lymph nodes. And given the physiological differences, the causes of a specific nature are possible in men and women.
Causes of pathology in men
A fairly common reason for which the inguinal lymph nodes are inflamed in men is a reaction to a gonorrheal infection when purulent discharges appear. A slight increase in lymph nodes may also occur as a result of chlamydial urethritis.
Another reason is genital herpes combined with external symptoms of the disease:
- the appearance of itching;
- a burning sensation on the head of the penis.
Parasitic invasion in the form of pubic lice also causes inflammation of the lymph nodes in the inguinal region. It is accompanied by extensive lesions of the skin. In addition, in men, lymphadenitis in the groin area can trigger prostatitis, hemorrhoids, and inflammation in the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys.
Lymphadenitis in women
The most common causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the groin of women:
- inflammatory processes or neoplasms in the reproductive organs;
- vulvovaginitis: in addition to the increase in lymph nodes, swelling of the vaginal tissues, irritation and redness of the skin of the perineum;
- human papillomavirus infection;
- the development of inflammation and pathological changes in the urinary system of organs;
- infectious mononucleosis and toxoplasmosis.
Another common reason why the lymph nodes are inflamed in the groin of women can be a fungal infection - vaginal candidiasis or the so-called thrush. The disease develops with insufficient immune protection.
The first thing to do if the lymph nodes in the groin are inflamed is to consult a qualified specialist. If there is a clear infection along with inflamed lymph nodes, then there is nothing to worry about. Treatment of such inflamed lymph nodes in the groin area in women and men suggests, above all, the elimination of the cause of lymphadenitis.
The lymph node will restore its normal appearance a few days after the infection is cured. In some cases, for example, with bacterial invasion, antibiotics may be required for treatment.
If there are no obvious causes of lymphadenitis, the doctor will prescribe an additional examination: blood tests, biopsy or MRI, which will help exclude or confirm the presence of cancer.
If the lymph nodes are palpated in the groin, they are often of great concern. But, as in other parts of the body, the severity of inflammation of the lymph node in the inguinal region depends on many factors, including their size, human age, etc.