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Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra that can be caused by internal or external trauma or by infection with some type of bacteria, which can affect both men and women.
There are 2 main types of urethritis:
- Gonococcal urethritis: arises from infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, responsible for gonorrhea and, therefore, there is a risk of also having gonorrhea;
- Nongonococcal urethritis: is caused by infection with other bacteria such as Chlamydia trachomatis or E. coli, for example.
Depending on its cause, symptoms may vary and, similarly, treatment must also be done differently to ensure healing.Thus, whenever symptoms of urinary problems arise, one should consult the gynecologist or urologist to initiate appropriate treatment.
The symptoms of gonococcal urethritis include:
- Purulent, foul-smelling, yellow-green discharge from the urethra;
- Difficulty and burning in urinating;
- Desire to urinate frequently with little amount of urine.
The symptoms of non-gonococcal urethritis include:
- Little whitish discharge, which accumulates after urinating;
- Burning when urinating;
- Itching in the urethra;
- Slight difficulty in urinating.
Generally, non-gonococcal urethritis is asymptomatic, that is, it does not generate symptoms.
See other common causes of painful urination and itchy penis.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis of urethritis can be made by the urologist or gynecologist by observing the symptoms and analyzing the secretions that must be sent for laboratory analysis. In most cases, the doctor may advise starting treatment even before the results of the tests, based on the symptoms presented.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for urethritis should be performed with the use of antibiotic drugs, however, the antibiotic varies according to the type of urethritis:
In the treatment of non-gonococcal urethritis, it is usually used:
- Azithromycin: single dose of 1 tablet of 1 g or;
- Doxycycline: 100 mg, orally, 2 times daily for 7 days.
To treat gonococcal urethritis, it is generally recommended to use:
- Ceftriaxone: 250 mg by intramuscular injection as a single dose.
The symptoms of urethritis can often be confused with those of another problem called Urethral Syndrome, which is an inflammation of the urethra, which causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, urinary urgency, pain and irritation when urinating, and a feeling of pressure in the abdomen.
Urethritis can be caused by internal trauma, which can happen when using a urinary catheter to withdraw urine, as in the case of people admitted to a hospital. In addition, it can also be caused by bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum, HSV or adenovirus.
Infectious urethritis is transmitted by unprotected intimate contact or migration of bacteria from the intestines, in which case women are more prone to the proximity between the anus and the urethra.