Urethritis is the term used to describe inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that enables urine to pass out of the body. The male urethra is longer than the female and also carries semen. In women, the urethra is shorter and this is thought to be one reason that women are more likely to experience Urinary Tract Infections.
The urethra can become inflamed causing pain on urination and the following symptoms:
Urethritis is most commonly due to irritation from the following bacteria entering the urethra via the opening. Urethritis is caused by:
Urethritis can be diagnosed through physical examination or via urine tests for sexually transmitted infection or bacteria. Urethral/cervical swabs, though more invasive, give slightly more accurate results.
Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia can cause long-term complications such as epididymis in men and pelvic inflammatory disease in women which can both lead to infertility. Therefore, it is important if you experience symptoms to get checked out by your GP, begin treatment straight away and inform past/current sexual partners.
There are different treatments depending on the cause of your urethritis.
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