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Urethritis: Introduction

Urethritis is a common inflammation of the urethra, usually caused by an infection. The urethra is the tiny tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Urethritis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted disease, often a chlamydia infection. Urethritis is a general term that includes nongonococcal urethritis and chronic urethritis. Nongonococcal urethritis can occur in men and women and is always caused by a sexually transmitted disease that is not any type of gonorrhea.

Chronic urethritis is a recurring urethritis that occurs in women. Chronic urethritis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted disease, often a chlamydia infection. In some cases, chronic urethritis may be caused by the irritation of intercourse or exposure to irritating substances, such as bubble baths, soaps, and spermicides.

Most cases of urethritis are passed from one person another during sexual contact that involves vaginal, oral, or anal sex.

Urethritis caused by a sexually transmitted disease that is caught early can be quickly and easily treated. However, if left untreated it can lead to serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring of the fallopian tubes, infertility, prostatitis, epididymitis, and ectopic pregnancy. Having a sexually transmitted disease also puts a person at greater risk for contracting HIV.

Any person that engages in sexual activity can contract and pass on a sexually transmitted infection that can cause urethritis. This includes heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women. The more sexual partners a person has, the greater the risk of contracting urethritis. Young girls and young women have an especially high risk of developing urethritis because their reproductive organs are not fully mature and are more susceptible to infection.

Symptoms of urethritis vary between individuals, and it is not uncommon for men or women to have no symptoms until complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, develop. Symptoms of urethritis in women may include pain or burning with urination and a frequent need to urinate (frequency) and sudden strong urges to urinate (urgency). Men may experience discharge from the penis, and pain or burning with urination. For more details on symptoms, refer to symptoms of urethritis.

Making a diagnosis of urethritis infection includes taking a medical and sexual history, performing simple testing, and completing a physical and pelvic examination for women and an exam of the penis and testicles for men.

During the examination, the health care practitioner will assess the reproductive organs and take a swab sample of the woman's cervix or the man's urethra and have it tested for the presence of a sexually transmitted disease For women with severe symptoms, a pelvic ultrasound may also be done.

Because there often may be no symptoms, some people may be unaware of a problem, and a diagnosis of urethritis can be missed or delayed. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of urethritis.

The first step in the treatment of urethritis is prevention. Prevention of urethritis is best accomplished by abstaining from sexual activity or having sex only within a mutually monogamous relationship in which neither partner is infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Latex condoms also provide some protection when used properly. Avoiding substances that irritate the urethra and genital area is also helpful.

Treatment of urethritis caused by an infection includes antibiotic therapy. Hospitalization may be necessary if the woman is acutely ill with such complications as pelvic inflammatory disease, abscess or high fever. Prompt diagnosis and treatment reduces the chances of developing serious complications in both men and women. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of urethritis....more »

Urethritis: Misdiagnosis

A prompt diagnosis and treatment of urethritis caused by a sexually transmitted disease increases the chances of preserving fertility and preventing other complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, prostatitis, epididymitis, and ectopic pregnancy.

Urethritis is simple to diagnose, but a diagnosis can be missed or delayed because there ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Urethritis:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Urethritis. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Urethritis: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Urethritis

Home medical tests possibly related to Urethritis:

Urethritis: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Urethritis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

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Urethritis Treatments

Treatment of urethritis starts with prevention. Preventive measures include seeking regular medical care throughout a lifetime. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to best evaluate the risks of contracting urethritis due to a sexually transmitted disease and regularly test for these diseases with a simple swab test. These measures greatly increase ...Urethritis Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Urethritis may include:

Review further information on Urethritis Treatments.

Urethritis: Animations

Medications or substances causing Urethritis:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Urethritis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Urethritis: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Urethritis may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Urethritis

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Urethritis:

Urethritis: Deaths

Read more about causes and Urethritis deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Urethritis

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Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be misdiagnosed as various conditions such as more »

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Urethritis: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Urethritis

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Urethritis:

Urethritis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Urethritis listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Urethritis as a symptom include:

Definitions of Urethritis:

Inflammation of the urethra.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Inflammation of the urethra; results in painful urination
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Inflammation of the urethra.
- (Source - CRISP)

Detailed list of causes of Urethritis

The list below shows some of the causes of Urethritis mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Urethritis?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Urethritis. Of the 40 causes of Urethritis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 1 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 6 causes are "common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 1 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 34 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Urethritis:

The following list of conditions have 'Urethritis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Urethritis or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Urethritis:

The following list of medical conditions have Urethritis or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.






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Causes of Urethritis Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Urethritis based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    What are the alternative names for Urethritis:

    Urethral discharge, Urethrorrhea
    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Urethritis:

    Medical Conditions associated with Urethritis:

    Urinary pain (93 causes), Urination pain (123 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Urinary problems (1033 causes), Urinary difficulty (648 causes), Urinary symptoms (1228 causes), Inflammatory symptoms (1736 causes), Infection-related symptoms (1293 causes), Urethra symptoms (37 causes), Urinary system symptoms (1228 causes), Bladder symptoms (1010 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Intercourse symptoms (258 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Lower abdominal symptoms (3048 causes)

    Symptoms related to Urethritis:

    Urethral symptoms (37 causes), Urination pain (123 causes), Urinary pain (93 causes), Cloudy urine (33 causes), Urinary tract infection (68 causes), Chemical irritation of the urethra, Mycoplasma hominis, Non-Gonococcal urethritis, Urethral trauma from sexual intercourse, Mechanical urethritis, Group D streptoccous, Urethral syndrome (4 causes), Bicycle riding, Mycoplasma genitalium

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Urethritis:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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