Urethritis Urethritis

URETHRITIS

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Urethritis

Urethritis is a condition in which the urethra, or the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body, becomes inflamed and irritated. Semen also passes through the male urethra.

Urethritis typically causes pain while urinating and an increased urge to urinate. The primary cause of urethritis is usually infection by bacteria.

Urethritis is not the same as a urinary tract infection (UTI). Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, while a UTI is an infection of the urinary tract. They may have similar symptoms, but require different methods of treatment depending on the underlying cause of the urethritis.

Urethritis affects people of all ages. Both males and females can develop the condition. However, females have a greater chance of developing the condition than males. This is partly because men’s urethras, which are the length of the penis, are much longer than women’s. A woman’s urethra is typically one and a half inches long. That makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra.

Urethritis is not the same as a urinary tract infection (UTI). Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, while a UTI is an infection of the urinary tract. They may have similar symptoms, but require different methods of treatment depending on the underlying cause of the urethritis.

Urethritis affects people of all ages. Both males and females can develop the condition. However, females have a greater chance of developing the condition than males. This is partly because men’s urethras, which are the length of the penis, are much longer than women’s. A woman’s urethra is typically one and a half inches long. That makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra.

SYMPTOMS

Both men and women can develop urethritis, but the symptoms differ slightly. People who have urethritis may also not have any noticeable symptoms. This is especially true for women. In men, symptoms may not be apparent if the urethritis developed as a result of chlamydia or occasionally trichomoniasis infection.

The main symptom of urethra inflammation from urethritis is pain with urination (dysuria). In addition to pain, urethritis symptoms include:

For women:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic and abdominal pain
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • Fever and chills
  • Stomach pain
  • Itching

For men:

  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Penile discharge
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Itching, tenderness, or swelling in the penis
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin area

CAUSES OF URETHRITIS

Most episodes of urethritis are caused by infection by bacteria that enter the urethra from the skin around the urethra’s opening. Bacteria that commonly cause urethritis include:

  • Gonococcus, which is sexually transmitted and causes gonorrhea.
  • Chlamydia trachomatis, which is sexually transmitted and causes chlamydia.
  • Bacteria in and around stool.
  • The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) can also cause urethritis. Trichomonas is another cause of urethritis. It is a single-celled organism that is sexually transmitted.

Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia are usually confined to the urethra. But they may extend into women’s reproductive organs, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

In men, gonorrhea and chlamydia sometimes cause epididymitis, an infection of the epididymis, a tube on the outside of the testes. Both PID and epididymitis can lead to infertility.

RISK FACTORS

People who are more likely to experience urethritis include those who:

  • Have a history of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Engage in high-risk sexual behavior
  • Oral sex may be a risk factor for nongonococcal urethritis

Urethritis is not always sexually transmitted, but a person with multiple sexual partners has a greater risk of exposure.

Any patient with confirmed or suspected urethritis should also undergo tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia. This will enable people to inform their partner, who may also need to be tested and treated. It can also encourage patients to adhere to treatment.

DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. They’ll likely also examine the genital area for discharge, tenderness, sores and any signs of an STI. This can help them to make a diagnosis. If you are having painful urination, your doctor may assume an infection is present. He or she may treat it with antibiotics right away while waiting for test results.

Tests can help confirm the diagnosis of urethritis and its cause. Tests for urethritis can include:

  • Physical examination, including the genitals, abdomen, and rectum
  • Urine tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other bacteria
  • Examination of any discharge under a microscope
  • Cystoscopy if infection is not found

Blood tests are often not necessary for the diagnosis of urethritis. But blood tests may be done in certain situations.

diagnostics

Cystoscopy

diagnostics

Lab Test

TREATMENT FOR URETHRITIS

Medications will aim to treat the cause of the urethritis and to prevent the spread of infection. Using protection during sex reduces the risk. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. If the patient has a bacterial infection, an antibiotic will be prescribed.

MEDICATION

Many different antibiotics can treat urethritis. Your sexual partner should also be treated to prevent reinfection. It’s important to get retested after three months to make sure the infection is completely cleared. This includes even if your partner was treated.
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