Urethritis: Causes and Remedies
Urethritis is a common condition that affects millions of people every year, so understanding the causes and potential remedies of urethritis is very important.
Simply put, urethritis refers to inflammation of the urethra, and is often caused by bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted infection. These infections are commonly called urinary tract infections, and are not necessarily transmitted through sexual contact. The most notable symptom of urethritis is painful urination, typically signified by a burning sensation. Also, it can be difficult to begin urinating, despite the overwhelming sensation of needing to relieve yourself. Some other symptoms include painful sensations during sex, blood in the urine (men), or discharge from the vaginal opening (women). It is not recommended to engage in sexual contact if you’ve been diagnosed with urethritis, as you can pass the infection on to your partner.
E. coli, as well as the bacteria that can cause gonorrhea and chlamydia, are the typical pathogens that cause urethritis. The herpes simplex virus can also cause urethritis. Depending on the cause of urethritis, it could develop into other conditions, particularly if the infection moves into other areas of reproductive organs besides the urethra. Some of the major risk factors for urethritis include having many sexual partners, engaging in risky sexual behavior, and poor hygiene in the bathroom.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of urethritis, you should speak to a doctor and go in for an examination, in order to determine the cause and severity of the condition. A typical urethritis examination consists of the doctor physically examining your abdomen and genitals, accompanied by a urine test and taking physical specimens of any discharge. Blood tests are occasionally done, but are rarely necessary. You need to see a doctor, in case chlamydia or a more serious infection is the underlying cause.
The most common solution for the problem is a range of antibiotics to neutralize the infection, including erythromycin and azithromycin, but many people prefer a more natural solution.
Urethritis Home Remedies
Cat’s Claw: This somewhat uncommon herb has antibacterial and antiviral effects, making it a potent immune system booster that can help to recover quickly from a bout of urethritis. Cat’s claw can be taken in supplement form and is readily available in Europe and North America.
Green Tea: The well-known antioxidant and immune-improving components of green tea make it a perfect remedy if you’re suffering from painful urination. If you drink 1-2 cups of green tea per day, the catechins and volatile components will get to work on your body, reducing inflammation and pain, while seeking out infections and neutralizing them.
Cranberry Juice: The most commonly suggested remedy for any type of urinary tract infection is cranberry juice. Drinking a few glasses a day is highly recommended, as cranberries are able to prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urethra. This interaction has been widely studied, which is also why cranberry extract is so popular, if you want a concentrated dose.
Water: Remaining hydrated is essential, as you will likely feel the urge to pee much more often; drinking water will help you flush out the infection and return your body to normal, primarily when water is used in conjunction with a more formal medication or antibiotic.
Hot bath: Soaking in a hot bath can soothe the inflammation and get rid of the pain you may be experiencing as the result of urethritis. This stimulation of the body (no more than 15 minutes) can stimulate circulation, promote healing, and provide relief from the pain.
Less Caffeine and Alcohol: These two substances have been directly linked with exacerbated symptoms of urethritis. By cutting back on the coffee and cigarettes, you will improve circulation, give your immune system a break, and lower inflammation throughout the body – including the urethra.
Use Condoms: Using condoms is both a preventative approach for urethritis, as well as a remedy. Condoms help to prevent the vast majority of sexually transmitted infections, and can also make sex less painful if you are, in fact, having sex while suffering from urethritis. Although many people don’t like using condoms, it’s the safest way to protect yourself and your partner!
Juniper Berry: Although this is far from the most common berry out there, it has been closely linked to urethral inflammation and possesses a number of beneficial qualities. Similar to cranberries, juniper berries benefit urethritis sufferers in much the same way. It strengthens the immune system and soothes painful irritation, while preventing the infection from spreading to other parts of the reproductive system.
Cypress Oil: Cypress essential oil or pine essential oil can be used in very small amounts when mixed in water and then applied gently to the urethral opening. The powerful antiviral and antibacterial components of these essential oils can rapidly clear up the infection and eliminate the pain.
A Final Word of Warning: These natural remedies are recommendations based on anecdotal evidence and proven relief. However, given the many different causes of urethritis, it is always recommended to speak with a doctor and have a physical exam. Some of the infectious causes of urethritis can be more dangerous than others. Even if you are planning on taking a natural or herbal approach to treating the condition, a medical professional can point you in the right direction by helping you understand more about your specific case.