Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra. Urethritis is encountered both in men and in women. Urethritis is divided into two groups: specific and non-specific. The specific ones are caused by sexually transmitted agents (STD-Gonococci, herpes virus, chlamydia, trichomonas, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, on rare occasions gardnerella).
Non-specific urethritis are caused by the conditionally pathogenic microflora, i.e. that normally live on person but in cases of weakened immune system they cause diseases – Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli, Proteus, various parasitic fungi.
The urethritis is also primary and secondary. In cases of primary urethritis the inflammation starts just next to the urethra. With secondary urethritis the infection appears into the urethra from the inflammatory center, existing in other organ (prostate gland, the bladder, testicles, etc.).
Provoking factors for appearance of urethritis:
- Weakened immune system;
- general disease;
- increased sexual activity.
Symptoms of urethritis:
- often and painful urination;
- isolation of secretions – pus, mucous
- imperative need for urination up to the level of incontinence – in cases of acute urethritis the symptoms are more expressed then in the chronic urethritis;
- burning, itching and any other discomfort during the urination
Urethritis can develop without isolations from the urethra, only with the discomfort with the urination. Having in view the specific anatomy features in men (longer and narrower urethra), the symptoms of urethritis are felt more sharply. The symptoms of urethritis in women are less expressed and can generally remain unnoticed.
With the exception of acute urethritis specialists recognise also torpid urethritis, chronic urethritis and total urethritis. Torpid urethritis has less expressed subjective disorders or they can be absent. Paresthesia is observed – tingling, itching in the urethra, secretions. With chronic urethritis the symptoms are similar to the clinical manifestations of torpid urethritis. Total urethritis is inflammation of the entire urethra. The symptoms of total urethritis are similar to the symptoms of prostatitis. If a treatment of urethritis is not provided in time, then after a certain period of time all symptoms can disappear by themselves but the disease will become concealed. Complications will appear with each consecutive recovery of the inflammation process.
Urethritis in men more frequently passes into inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis). Urethritis in women passes into inflammation of the bladder (cystitis) or disturbance of microflora of vagina as well as other inflammatory illnesses of the urinary tract are caused.
Diagnosis of non-specific urethritis includes:
- urethra secretion culture
- examination of the prostate gland
- ultrasound examination, prostate isolation examination
In most cases urethritis treatment is reduced to antibiotics that are active to the cause of the inflammation and immunotherapy is applied also. It is important to identify the cause of the inflammation. In most cases treatment is complex. It longs from few days up to several weeks and depends on how bad it is and on the phase of the disease. In all types of urethritis it is recommended to take a lot of liquids, strict diet (excluding alcohol, piquant and salted food).
For prevention of the disease it is important to keep personal hygiene and timely treatment of different inflammatory and general infection diseases. In cases of occasional sex contacts it is recommended to use condoms. The prevention includes also regular examination for sexually transmitted infections.