Urethra is the condition where the urethra of the body becomes inflamed. A number of bacteria and viruses are responsible for causing urethra. The most common type of such bacteria is E.coli. This genus of bacteria is also associated with infections of the urinary tract and also with diseases transmitted through sexual interactions, such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia. On the other hand, the types of viruses which cause urethra are cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus. However, the causes of urethra are not limited to bacteria and viruses only. Certain chemicals cause the inflammation of the urethritis. These chemicals are sometimes present in foams, creams and jellies that help in contraception and in spermicides. Last but not the least, injuries caused by accidents can also lead to urethritis.
The risks of developing urethritis are usually linked to sexual practices of individuals. In general, people who do not use condoms while having anal sex become exposed to a wide range of sexually transmitted diseases. Similarly, they face the risk of developing urethritis. The situation is similar for people who have sex with several other people. Also, the risks are high for people who had suffered from other sexually transmitted diseases in the past. Young men, as well as young women, are the most common victims of urethritis. These men are usually in their twenties and mid-thirties. On the other hand, the women are young enough for reproduction.
Like all other sexually transmitted diseases, urethritis brings in a lot of serious complications. For instance, men who are suffering from urethritis develop conditions such as urethra stricture, prostatitis, pyelonephritis, orchritis, epididymitis and cystis; all these conditions can be fatal. The possibility of complications is multiplied for women. A few such complications are salpingitis, pyelonephritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, cystitis and cervictitis. Women may also face problems in getting pregnancy – that is, they face the risk from being infertile. Even if these women manage to get pregnancy, they need to be extremely careful to avoid having a miscarriage.
Thus it can be clearly seen that urethritis is a major complication itself, and immediate treatment must be sought by the affected person. However, since many of its symptoms are similar to those caused by sexually transmitted diseases, people cannot be sure whether their disorder is urethritis or not. So, they must pay close attention to their symptoms. If they have at least five symptoms mentioned below, they need to visit their doctor for an immediate medical exam.
Men and women usually have both similar and different symptoms. For instance, men may frequently find red, thick, mucus-like substances in their semen or urine. What they may not realize is that these substances are nothing but blood. This symptom indicates the severity of the urethritis. Men may also feel burning sensations and pain when they are urinating. This condition is known as dysuria. The affected person also has to make more frequent trips to the toilet since the urge to urinate becomes uncontrollable. Also, they may feel pain when they are having sexual intercourse. There other symptoms of urethritis that are associated with several other conditions; so they are usually not helpful in identifying urethritis. Nonetheless, people should have an idea about these symptoms, such as fever and itchiness or swell of the groin area and the penis.
On the other hand, women suffer from pain in their abdomen and their pelvis. They also have frequent discharge from their vagina. Apart from these, other symptoms – such as pain and burning sensation during urination, fever and uncontrollable urination – are similar to those faced by men.
Because of these symptoms, diagnosis of urethritis – though a healthcare specialist – is easy. For instance, physical examples can easily find out whether there are swells in the penis or whether the lymph nodes of the groin have become larger in size.