Urethral Syndrome

Female Urology

Urethritis is swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the body. Urethritis may be caused by bacteria or a virus. The same bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (E. coli) and some sexually transmitted diseases can lead to urethritis. Viral causes of urethritis include herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus. Other causes include:

Sensitivity to the chemicals used in spermicides or contraceptive jellies, creams, or foams

Risks Include:

  • Being a female in the reproductive years

  • Being male, ages 20 - 35

  • Having many sexual partners

  • High-risk sexual behavior (such as anal sex without a condom)

  • History of sexually transmitted diseases



In women:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Burning pain while urinating

  • Fever and chills

  • Frequent or urgent urination

  • Pelvic pain

  • Vaginal discharge

In men:

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Burning pain while urinating

  • Discharge from penis

  • Fever (rare)

  • Frequent or urgent urination

  • Itching, tenderness, or swelling in penis or groin area

  • Pain with intercourse or ejaculation



Urethral syndrome may be diagnosed through urine or urethral swab tests, exams for sexually transmitted diseases, or a cystoscopy or urethroscopy. A cystoscopy or urethroscopy is usually performed when the symptoms of urethral syndrome persist without a diagnosis.



The first line of treatment for urethral syndrome is medication. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the condition exists because of an undetected infection. It is also reccommended that patients avoid products that may irritate the vaginal and urinary tract areas. Surgery is only recommended if structural problems are causing the condition.