Urethra is a tube in the body, that performs the function of transporting liquid wastes outside the body, from the bladder, through the tip of the penis in men, and an opening above the vagina in women. An irritation or inflammation of the urethra usually occurs on account of a condition known as urethritis. If it becomes chronic, it can lead to urethral syndrome. Below are the causes, symptoms and treatment for urethritis.
- Urethritis is caused by certain bacteria and virus, which are also responsible for causing urinary tract infections as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Some bacteria and viruses, which may lead to urethritis are, E.coli, adenovirus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus.
- It can be caused by certain sexually transmitted diseases, like, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Other causes are any injury caused to the urethra or sensitivity to chemicals found in contraceptive creams and spermicides.
The symptoms of urethritis vary in males and females, although an irritated urethra is observed in both. In men, the symptoms include, burning sensation and pain during urination, blood in urine, discharge from the penis, excessive urination, pain while having intercourse, and swelling, itchiness, tenderness in the groin area.
In women, the symptoms include, pain in the abdominal area, pain and burning sensation when urinating, increased urination, discharge from the vagina, pain in the pelvic region, fever and chills.
The doctors generally start with a physical examination of the abdomen, bladder, pelvic region, and penis in men. Certain tests such as Complete Blood Count (CBC), pelvic ultrasound in women, urinalysis, test to check STDs, and a C-reactive protein test may be conducted.
Once the exact cause and extent of the condition is determined, treatment is started, which generally entails improving the symptoms, eliminating the reason behind the infection, and ensuring that it does not spread any further.
If bacteria is the main cause of the disease, antibiotic therapy is suggested. Pain killers such as pyridium may also be given in case the patient is experiencing excess pain in the urinary tract. Certain precautions to be taken along with the treatment are, avoiding sex, eliminating the usage of products such as contraceptive creams, which may have caused the infection, as well as preventing any kind of physical injury to the affected area.
Although irritated urethra is mostly caused by urethritis, sometimes, it may happen that, though a person is experiencing all its symptoms, the tests do not show any kind of infection. Such urethral irritation can be caused due to the reasons, such as, repeatedly squeezing the urethra, overindulging in masturbation and sexual activities, dehydration leading to concentration of urine, excessive intake of caffeine or alcohol, and certain allergies. If such is the case, irritated urethra does not need any antibiotic therapy; it can be treated easily at home by doing some modifications in certain habits like, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, refraining from masturbation or squeezing the penis, limiting sexual activity and always using a condom during sex, drinking lots of water, and maintaining general and sexual hygiene.