Urethritis is an inflammation and irritation of the urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body. Sperm is also carried by the male urethra. Urethritis is characterised by a heightened need to urinate and discomfort during urination. Urethritis is typically caused by a bacterial infection.
Urethritis and urinary tract infections (UTI) are distinct conditions. UTI is an infection of the urinary tract, as its name implies, whereas urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra. Depending on the underlying cause, urethritis may present with similar symptoms, but requires distinct treatments. (1)
Each age group is susceptible to urethritis. Both women and males can be affected. A greater proportion of women are at risk for the condition than men. Men have lengthier urethras, which contribute to the length of the penis, than women do. The average length of a woman’s urethra is one and a half centimetres. This length allows bacteria to access the urethra more easily.
Urethritis is typically caused by a virus or bacterium. A chemical irritant can also induce this condition. The condition is distinct from a urinary tract infection (UTI), which effects the urinary tract in its entirety. Without protection, sexual contact can transmit the disease. A vaginal infection can be transmitted from the female partner to the female partner.
Urination discomfort is characteristic of urethritis. The most prevalent underlying cause of urethritis is sexually transmitted bacterial infection. Typically, antibiotics are used to treat it.
Despite the fact that urethritis can have infectious or noninfectious causes, it is typically referred to as an inflammation of the urethra caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Various organisms can induce infectious urethritis. The condition is typically classified as either gonococcal urethritis (GU) or nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) owing to the gram-negative intracellular diplococci Neisseria gonorrhoeae. (2)
Both sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and a bacterial infection of the urinary tract (also known as a bladder infection) may produce similar symptoms.
Men between the ages of 20 and 35 have the highest risk of developing infectious urethritis, as do men who have multiple sexual partners or engage in high-risk behaviour, such as anal intercourse or not using condoms.
Common urethritis symptoms include burning and discomfort.
Long-term exposure may result in infertility or urethral obstructions (strictures).
Male Nongonococcal Urethritis
Typically, nongonococcal urethritis is transmitted through sexual contact. Typically, males are affected by this condition. Symptoms include burning during urination and discharge from the penis. Antibiotics are utilised in the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis. Remember to take your prescribed medication as directed. Additionally, you should thank your intimate partner(s) for their support.
What Is Nonbacterial Urethritis?
Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is caused by irritation or inflammation of the urethra. Urine (pee) exits the body via the urethra, a small conduit located in the penis, from the bladder.
Men are more susceptible to this form of inflammation. An infection or a germ invading the body is a common cause. The source of this sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infected companion.
Acute urethral discharge is a classic sign of urethritis following unprotected sexual activity.
The two primary etiologic agents are Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis.
There is an increased risk when a person has a new partner, multiple partners, or is under the age of 25. It is possible for infected mothers to transmit the infection to their infants, resulting in middle ear inflammation, iritis, pneumonia, or conjunctivitis.
Female morbidity is 10% to 40% higher than male morbidity, which ranges from 1% to 2%.
Untreated gonococcal urethritis may result in meningitis, arthritis, and endocarditis. Nongonococcal urethritis can result in infertility or reactive arthritis if left untreated.