Urethritis Medical Condition


Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. Urethritis is a common manifestation and usually caused by a sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It can also be caused by physical or chemical trauma to the urethra.


Infectious urethritis is typically caused by a sexually transmitted pathogen; therefore most cases are seen in young sexually active men. There are two different types of sexually transmitted urethritis: gonococcal urethritis, caused by gonorrhea bacteria, and nongonococcal urethritis, caused by bacteria other than gonorrhea.

Having sexually transmitted urethritis may increase the risk of HIV infection. If one already has HIV, urethritis may increase the risk that you will pass HIV to a sex partner.



Gonococcal urethritis

It is commonly called clap caused by the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


Nongonococcal urethritis

This is caused by all sexually transmitted bacteria other than N. gonorrhea. The most frequent cause is Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, which cause the sexually transmitted infection Chlamydia., other possible infectious include Ureaplasma, Mycoplasma genitalium and Trichomonas vaginalis.

Not all urethritis is caused by an infection or trauma. Reactive arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that can cause sterile urethritis


Signs and Symptoms


Pain or burning during urination

Urge to urinate more frequently.

Discharge from the urethra which can be mild or copious

Redness and swelling around the opening of the urethra




Because both gonococcal and nongonococcal urethritis are caused by bacteria that can be transmitted during sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral and anal intercourse).



Abstinence from sex

Having a sex with only one uninfected partner

Consistently using condoms during sexual activity

Urethritis caused by injury or chemical irritation is rare, and there is no way to prevent it. Once it occurs, avoiding the offending substance should prevent urethritis from recurring.




Infectious urethritis can be treated with a variety of antibiotics. Certain strains of bacteria have become resistant to specific antibiotics, you may need a different antibiotic if symptoms continue after you have finished taking the first prescription.

All sex partners of a person infected with infectious urethritis also should be treated. People who are taking antibiotics for urethritis should not have sex until treatment is complete.


Once you start taking antibiotics, infectious urethritis improves rapidly. Even without treatment, the symptoms of gonococcal and nongonococcal urethritis may go away within three months. However, people continue to remain infectious, and spread the bacteria to others even when they have no symptoms. Untreated infections can spread from the cervix to the fallopian tubes in women, where they can cause permanent scarring and infertility.


Urethritis caused by injury or chemical irritation goes away without treatment once the cause is identified and avoided.


If gonococcal urethritis is diagnosed and treated quickly and correctly, there usually is complete recovery. Gonococcal urethritis that is not treated correctly or not treated at all can lead to advanced pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can result in scarring that can lead to infertility. Antibiotic treatment of chlamydia will cure this disease and can prevent complications. If untreated, chlamydia infections in men can cause swollen and tender testicles.