Urethritis: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Urethritis is a common condition that affects millions of people every year, so understanding the causes and symptoms is very important.

What is Urethritis?

Simply put, urethritis refers to the inflammation of the urethra and is often caused by bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted infection.


Most cases of urethritis are caused by infections of bacteria like:

  • E. coli
  • Gonococcus
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Herpes simplex

Depending on the cause, it could develop into other conditions, particularly if the infection moves into other areas of reproductive organs besides the urethra.


Risk Factors

Some of the major risk factors for urethritis include:

  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Engaging in risky sexual behavior
  • Poor personal hygiene


The most notable symptom of urethritis is painful urination, typically signified by a burning sensation. Some other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Painful sensations during sex
  • Blood in the urine (men)
  • Vaginal discharge

It is not recommended to engage in sexual contact if you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, as you can pass the infection on to your partner.

Note: Urethritis is often confused with urinary tract infection (UTI). While urethritis refers to irritation and inflammation of the urethra, a UTI is an infection of the urinary tract. Both conditions have similar symptoms but are treated differently if urethritis is not caused by a bacterial infection.

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