Urology Of Greater Atlanta
Urethritis is commonly caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Its symptoms can cause a lot of discomfort. Treatment will prevent its spread and prevent further complications from developing.
If you’re concerned about sexually transmitted diseases, call Urology of Greater Atlanta or make an appointment online today! Our board-certified urologists are ready to give you the discrete help you’re looking for.
We have multiple locations throughout Georgia. Contact one of our convenient locations in Georgia now!
What Is Urethritis?
Urethritis refers to the inflammation, swelling, and irritation of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body. This condition is commonly associated with an underlying infection, often attributed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), although other causes can also be responsible.
Types of Urethritis
There are different types of urethritis depending on their cause. The different types of urethritis are as follows:
- Gonococcal urethritis is the result of an infection with gonorrhea.
- Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) occurs due to factors other than gonorrhea, such as different types of STIs or repetitive irritation of the urethra.
- Non-specific urethritis (NSU) refers to urethritis where the underlying cause is unknown.
What Are the Risk Factors?
There are certain risk factors that can increase your likelihood of getting urethritis. The risk factors associated with urethritis include the following:
- Age between 15 and 24
- Multiple sexual partners
- Engaging in unprotected sex
- Engaging in anal sex
- Use of potential irritants, such as deodorant tampons, spermicides, douches, or personal lubricants
- Urethral trauma, which can occur through injury or the insertion of objects into the urethra (e.g., urinary catheter)
How Common Is Urethritis?
Urethritis is a prevalent condition in the United States that affects around four million people annually. Among these cases, approximately three million are classified as nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), not caused by gonorrhea.
On a global scale, there are an astonishing 62 million new cases of gonorrhea-related urethritis and approximately 89 million cases of NGU each year. These figures may seem relatively low since individuals can be asymptomatic, meaning they can have the condition without experiencing noticeable symptoms.
Symptoms of Urethritis
Urethritis symptoms can include the following:
- Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Pain while peeing (dysuria)
- Itchiness at the tip of the urethra
- Penile discharge, including pus and/or blood
- Pelvic pain
Men commonly experience symptoms of nongonococcal urethritis, whereas women may not exhibit symptoms.
Causes of Urethritis
Urethritis is often caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it is not the only possible cause. Here are some sexually transmitted diseases associated with urethritis:
- Herpes simplex virus
It should also be noted that urethritis can be caused by other factors, such as:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Yeast infections
- Exposure to irritants like soaps, douches, and spermicides
- Rough handling or squeezing of the penis
- Activities that put pressure on the urethra, like cycling or certain sexual acts
- Inserting objects into the urethra, such as using a catheter
Can Urethritis Be Transmitted to Others?
While urethritis itself is not contagious, it is essential to note that the underlying infections responsible for urethritis can be contagious. If you have urethritis resulting from a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is crucial to seek treatment for the specific STI.
Furthermore, it is essential for your sexual partner or partners to receive treatment as well. Treating only one person while the infection remains untreated in the other may lead to a continuous cycle of infection transmission between you and your sexual partner.
How Urethritis Is Diagnosed
When visiting your healthcare provider, they will inquire about your medical background, including specific questions related to your sexual history. Additionally, a physical examination will be conducted to assess any signs of redness, discoloration, swelling, or discomfort.
Your doctor may also perform abdominal and pelvic exams. To aid in the diagnosis of urethritis and determine the underlying infection, your healthcare provider may request the following tests:
- Analysis of discharge samples in a laboratory
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
These diagnostic tests are instrumental in identifying urethritis and pinpointing the specific type of infection responsible for the condition.
Treatment and Management of Urethritis
The primary treatment for urethritis, whether used alone or in combination, involves the administration of antibiotics. Several antibiotics commonly used to treat urethritis caused by bacteria include the following:
In some cases, your healthcare provider may initiate antibiotic treatment before receiving the test results if a bacterial infection is suspected. They may also recommend the use of pain relievers to alleviate localized urinary tract pain.
Urethritis that does not clear up after six weeks of antibiotic treatment is called chronic urethritis. Different antibiotics may be used to treat this problem.
If urethritis is caused by friction or exposure to irritating substances like soap or spermicide, your provider may advise the following measures:
- Stop wearing tight-fitting clothing
- Avoiding the irritant substance
- Limiting the duration of activities that induce friction
Get Help Today
If you’re concerned about STDs, call Urology of Greater Atlanta or make an appointment online today. Our compassionate doctors and staff are ready to give you the discrete help you’re looking for. Contact one of our offices in Georgia now to get the attention you need!