Urethritis treatment

Urethritis can best be described as an inflammation of the urethra and is typically caused by a virus or bacteria. Bacteria, such as E. coli which is known to cause urinary tract infection, can lead to your urethritis as well as certain sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Urethritis can also be caused by certain viruses such as herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus. Some of the less common causes of urethritis include injury or sensitivity to certain chemicals that are typically used in spermicides and contraceptive jellies.

Those most at risk of urethritis include males aged from 20 to 35, those who have a history of sexually transmitted diseases, those who have many sexual partners, those who take part in high-risk sexual behaviours such as having anal sex without a condom, and also young women in their reproductive years. There are numerous symptoms of urethritis and for men of these include burning pain while urinating, discharge from penis, blood found in the urine or semen, pain during intercourse and ejaculation, itching, tenderness or swelling in the penis area and the frequent need to urinate urgently. For women the symptoms include pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, burning pain while urinating, abdominal pain, fever and chills and once again the urgent need to frequently urinate.

Prior to any form of treatment being prescribed for urethritis you will require a physical examination. A man will typically require their abdomen, bladder area, penis and scrotum to be examined and also a digital rectal exam. The physical examination will look for tender and enlarged lymph nodes in the groin area, a tender and swollen penis and possible discharge from the penis. A woman will require an abdominal and pelvic exam which will check for tenderness of the lower abdomen, tenderness of the uterus and any discharge from the urethra. Certain tests may also be required and these include a complete blood count, pelvic ultrasound and a pregnancy test for women only, a C-reactive protein test, urinalysis and tests for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Treatment of urethritis is generally aimed at improving the symptoms, preventing the spread of infection and completely eliminating the cause an infection. The bacteria that caused the infection will typically the targeted through antibiotic therapy. Occasionally antibiotics may be given intravenously. Certain pain relievers such as pyridium may also be prescribed in conjunction with antibiotics. It is vitally important that if you are being treated for urethritis that you should look to avoid sex or at the very least wear a condom during sex. If the inflammation has been caused by an infection then unfortunately your partner will also require treatment. If your urethritis was caused by chemical irritants or trauma, this will typically be treated by avoiding the source of irritation or injury.

As long as urethritis is diagnosed and treated correctly it should clear up without any further complications. However, you should be aware that urethritis may actually lead to permanent damage of the urethra. It may also affect other urinary organs in both men and women. There are certain complications associated with urethritis and in men these include cystitis, prostatitis, urethral stricture, pyelonephritis and epididymitis. For women the complications may include fertility problems, ectopic pregnancy, cystitis, cervicitis, miscarriage, pregnancy complications, pelvic inflammatory disease and salpingitis or an infection of the ovaries.

It is important to realise that infectious urethritis is typically classified into categories. The first category is gonococcal urethritis (GU) and the second is nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). There are also certain rare infectious causes of urethritis which may include herpes genitalis, syphilis, mycobacterial infection and bacterial infections that are most usually associated with cystitis. Post-traumatic urethritis is likely to occur in one fifth of all patients who practice intermittent catheterisation or foreign body insertion. You will actually find that urethritis is up to 10 times more likely to occur when using latex catheters as opposed to the silicone variety. Urethritis affects up to 4 million Americans every year. On average 3 million new cases of NGU and 700,000 cases of GU are reported each and every year. However, it is more than likely that many cases of urethritis go unreported.

Urethritis has no preference for race or sex, although homosexual males are at a far greater risk than heterosexual males or females. Urethritis is most like to occur in a sexually active person, but the highest incidence rates are found to be amongst people who are aged 20 to 24. Should you ever suffer any of the symptoms of urethritis it is extremely important that you contact your doctor or health care provider immediately. It is also actually possible to prevent certain causes of urethritis. It can be avoided through practising good personal hygiene and safe sex behaviours such as using a condom or practising monogamy.

Last updated on Apr 14th, 2011 and filed under Reproductive Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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