Aug 17, 2023
The condition known as urethritis involves irritation and inflammation of the urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Additionally, sperm travels through the male urethra.
Urethritis is distinct from a urinary tract infection (UTI). A urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, whereas a UTI is a urinary tract infection. Despite having similar symptoms, the underlying cause of the urethritis may necessitate a distinct approach to therapy.
People of various ages can develop urethritis. The illness can affect males and females equally. The likelihood of getting the illness is higher in females than in males, though. This is partially due to the lengthier urethras in men compared to women, which measure the length of the penis. The average length of a woman's urethra is 1.5 inches so bacteria can enter easily.
A viral or bacterial infection is frequently the cause of the majority of cases of urethritis. Bacteria seem to be the main cause. The same microorganisms that can cause kidney and bladder disorders can also infect the urethral lining. Normally occurring bacteria in the vaginal region can potentially cause urethritis if they enter the urinary tract.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that the following bacteria have been connected to urethritis:
Pathogens are the biological entities that afflict people. Urethritis may result from STI-causing bacteria. Trichomonasis-causing parasites, gonorrhea, and chlamydia bacteria, among others, are among these.
Urethritis symptoms and signs might include:
Depending on what caused the inflammation, there are many forms of urethritis. They are gonococcal urethritis and nongonococcal urethritis, respectively.
The same bacterium that causes gonorrhea, an STI, also causes gonococcal urethritis. It causes 20% of urethritis cases.
Nongonococcal urethritis is urethritis brought on by various infections other than gonorrhea. Nongonococcal urethritis is frequently brought on by chlamydia, while other STIs are equally likely to be to blame.
But discomfort related to STIs is also possible. These factors may include trauma to the genitalia, such as that caused by a catheter, or other genital injuries.
While many people have one type of urethritis or the other, it is possible to have many causes of urethritis simultaneously. This is especially more common in women.
Diagnosis of urethritis can be made with the help of:
A vaginal or urethral swab. There is probably a test that may be used to confirm or rule out a specific STI if the doctor has a suspicion. Blood testing can be used to check for additional STIs like HIV and syphilis.
You may receive test results in just a few days, depending on your physician and their laboratory. They can then begin treating you right away and inform you if your partner also needs to be evaluated and treated.
A course of antibiotics or antiviral medicine is frequently used to treat urethritis. The following are some typical urethritis treatments:
If a STI was the source of the infection, it is imperative that all sexual partners get tested and receive the necessary treatment. This stops the STI from spreading and from reinfecting people.
Within a few days of starting medication, you might notice an improvement in your symptoms. The infection could worsen if you don't finish your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Patients with urethritis should wait one week after finishing their medication and their partner's therapy before starting up again.
The following list includes possible drug interactions for drugs used to treat urethritis:
Most of the time, urethritis is easily managed with medicines. The effects, however, could be severe and prolonged if the infection is not treated. For instance, in addition to other parts of the urinary tract, the infection may spread to the ureters, kidneys, and bladder. The infections themselves may hurt. If neglected for too long, they can injure the organs even though they are treatable with more extensive rounds of antibiotics. These infections have the potential to spread to the circulation and result in sepsis, which can be lethal if ignored.
STIs that frequently result in urethritis can also harm the reproductive system. PID, a painful condition that can cause infertility, chronic pelvic pain, or discomfort during sex, can occur in women. Ectopic pregnancies, which can be fatal, are also more common in women with untreated STIs.
Men may experience severe prostate inflammation, infection, or constriction of the urethra due to scarring, which makes urinating difficult. For these reasons, you should consult a doctor as soon as you can if you experience any urethritis symptoms.
Many of the bacteria that cause urethritis can be transmitted from one person to another during intercourse. Safe sex practices are a crucial preventative measure as a result. The following advice can lower your risk:
There are various methods to encourage healthy urinary tracts besides safer sexual practices. By doing this, you may be less likely to develop urethritis or other disorders that affect this area of the body. Be careful to urinate right away after sexual activity and drink plenty of fluids. Eat foods without acid. Avoid spermicide exposure as well, especially if you are already suffering from urethritis.
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