(Urethral Infection)


Urethritis is an inflammation, infection, or irritation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder.
Female Urethra
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Urethritis is usually caused by bacteria or viruses, including:
  • Organisms that cause bladder or kidney infections
  • Organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Other bacteria

Risk Factors

Urethritis is more common in women. Other factors that may increase your chance of urethritis include:
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Recent change in sexual partners
  • Unprotected sex (without use of a condom)
  • History of other STDs
  • Bacterial infection of other parts of the urinary tract (bladder, kidney, prostate)
  • Medications that lower resistance to bacterial infection
  • Having catheters or tubes placed in the bladder
  • Acidic foods
  • Spermicides


People with urethritis may not have symptoms, especially women. About half of men infected with chlamydia have no symptoms.Urethritis may cause:
  • Pain and/or burning while urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Increase in urinary:
    • Frequency
    • Urgency
  • Itching, swelling, and/or tenderness in the groin
  • Pain during sex
Urethritis symptoms specific to men may include:
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Blood in the semen
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Swollen and/or tender testicles
If left untreated, urethritis can spread and cause infection in other parts of the urinary tract such as the bladder, ureters, or kidneys.

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