Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Urethral Syndrome

(Urethral Irritation)

 

Definition

The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder. Urethral syndrome is a set of symptoms from inflammation or irritation of the urethra. It is not related to an infection from bacteria or a virus.

Female Urethra

Nucleus factsheet image

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Causes    TOP

The cause of urethral syndrome can be hard to find. Possible causes include:

  • Irritation of the urethra, caused by:
    • Radiation therapy or exposure
    • Chemotherapy
    • Spermicidal jellies used during sex
    • Bubble baths
    • Irritating soaps
    • Scents or perfumes
    • Injury to the urethra caused by a blow to the pelvic area
    • Sexual intercourse (especially in women)
    • Urinary irritants, such as caffeine and certain foods
  • In women, irritation of the urethra may be caused by:
    • Feminine hygiene sprays or douches
    • Sanitary napkins
    • Contraceptive gels
    • Condoms
 

Risk Factors    TOP

Urethral syndrome is most common in women. Factors that may lead to an undetected infection include:

  • Unprotected sex (without use of a condom)
  • History of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Bacterial infection of other parts of the urinary tract, such as the bladder or kidney
  • Medications that reduce your ability to fight infections
  • Structural problems, such as narrowing of the urethra
 

Symptoms    TOP

Urethral syndrome may cause:

  • Pain and/or burning while urinating
  • Difficulty urinating (especially after intercourse)
  • Increase in urinary:
    • Frequency
    • Urgency
    • Blood in the urine
  • Swelling and/or tenderness in the groin
  • Pain during intercourse

In men, urethral syndrome may specifically cause:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Blood in semen
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Swollen and/or tender testicles
 

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and past health. A physical and pelvic exam will be done. Urethral syndrome is usually diagnosed when symptoms are present but there is no evidence of an infection.

Tests may include:

  • Urine tests or urethral swab tests for lab study
  • Tests for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Cystoscopy and/or urethroscopy
  • Pelvic ultrasound
 

Treatment    TOP

Treatment may include:

Medicine

  • Antibiotics for a possible undetected infection
  • Anesthetics to manage pain
  • Antispasmodics to reduce bladder spasms
  • Antidepressants
  • Alpha-blocking drugs to relax muscle tone
 

Prevention    TOP

To reduce your chance of urethral syndrome:

  • Avoid the use of:
    • Spermicidal jellies
    • Bubble baths
    • Irritating soaps
    • Scents or perfumes
    • Feminine hygiene sprays and douches
    • Urinary irritant foods and beverages
  • Practice safe sex, including using condoms.
  • Urinate immediately after sexual intercourse.
  • Make sure sexually transmitted diseases are treated quickly and completely for you and your partner(s).
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
RESOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
https://www.niddk.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

HealthLink BC
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca

The Kidney Foundation of Canada
https://www.kidney.ca

REFERENCES:

Costantine E, Zucchi A, et al. Treatment of urethral syndrome: a prospective randomized study with Nd: YAG laser. Urol Int. 2006;76:134-138.

Gittes RF, Nakamura RM. Female urethral syndrome. A female prostatitis? West J Med. 1996;164(5):435-438.

Nongonococcal urethritis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116488/Nongonococcal-urethritis . Updated September 26, 2018. Accessed January 8, 2019.



Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 1/8/2019

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000