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Urethritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra. That's the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body.

Pain with urination is the main symptom of urethritis. Urethritis is commonly due to infection by bacteria. It can typically be cured with antibiotics.

A Visual Guide to Urinary Tract Infections

Urethritis Causes

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:

  • E. coli and other bacteria present in stool.
  • Gonococcus. It is sexually transmitted and causes gonorrhea.
  • Chlamydia trachomatis. It is sexually transmitted and causes chlamydia.

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.

Urethritis Symptoms

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

  • Feeling the frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Difficulty starting urination

Urethritis can also cause itching, pain, or discomfort when a person is not urinating.

Other symptoms of urethritis include:

  • Pain during sex
  • Discharge from the urethral opening or vagina
  • In men, blood in the semen or urine

Diagnosis of Urethritis

You may get a diagnosis of urethritis when your doctor takes your medical history and asks you about your symptoms.

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.

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

Urethritis Treatment

Antibiotics can successfully cure urethritis caused by bacteria. Many different antibiotics can treat urethritis. Some of the most commonly prescribed include:

  • Adoxa, Monodox, Oracea, Vibramycin (doxycycline)
  • Rocephin (ceftriaxone)
  • Zithromax, Zmax (azithromycin)

Source: www.webmd.com

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... and easiest to get rid of but easiest to transmit to your partners who will ALL have it also.
It also can look like a urinary tract infection - same symptoms and treatment. So, many people get Chlamydia but doctors just treat it as a UTI. Good news and bad news. Bad because you're parnter likely has it but may not have symptoms or they are mild and they either ignore them, had it treated as a UTI and in either case, won't tell you.... So, once you get treated, you're going to get it back.
Any kind of contact oral, anal, vaginal, etc. and you can get it (back)

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