Urethritis

  • Alternative Names

    Urethral syndrome; NGU; Non-gonococcal urethritis


    Treatment

    The goals of therapy are to:

    • Eliminate the cause of infection
    • Improve symptoms
    • Prevent the spread of infection

    If you have an infection, you will be given antibiotics.

    See also:

    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhea

    You may take pain relievers (including pyridium, which works on the urinary tract) along with antibiotics.

    People with urethritis who are being treated should avoid sex or use condoms during sex. If an infection is the cause of the inflammation, your sexual partner must also be treated.

    Urethritis caused by trauma or chemical irritants is treated by avoiding the source of injury or irritation.

    Urethritis that does not clear up after antibiotic treatment and lasts for at least 6 weeks is called chronic urethritis. Different antibiotics may be used to treat this problem.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    With the correct diagnosis and treatment, urethritis usually clears up without any complications.

    However, urethritis can lead to permanent damage to the urethra (scar tissue called urethral stricture) and other urinary organs in both men and women.


    Complications

    Men with urethritis are at risk for the following complications:

    • Bladder infection (cystitis)
    • Epididymitis
    • Infection in the testicles (orchitis)
    • Prostate infection (prostatitis)

    After a severe infection, the urethra may become scarred and then narrowed (urethral stricture).

    Women with urethritis are at risk for the following complications:

    • Bladder infection (cystitis)
    • Cervicitis
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID -- an infection of the uterus lining, fallopian tubes, or ovaries)

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of urethritis.