Urethritis – is a disease associated with the development of the inflammatory process in the wall of the urethra. It is one of the most common urological diseases. Urethritis among men occurs slightly more often than among women, and always takes place in the more severe forms. This is due to the anatomical characteristics of the male and female urinary system.
What Is Urethritis?
Female urethra has a length of 1-2 cm, and a sufficiently large width. Therefore infectious agents that come here, almost do not linger, and penetrate directly into the bladder, causing cystitis (inflammation of the bladder wall), or they are output with the current urine. Due to the large width of the lumen even a significant swelling of the mucous membrane of the urethra for women does not lead to a significant disruption of the flow of urine. Male urethra can reach a length of 22 cm and a width of the lumen – only 0.8 mm. Furthermore, it forms bends. Therefore, the infection lingers in it easier and inflammatory mucosal swelling results in significant disruption of the flow of urine, up to acute urinary retention.
What Are the Symptoms of Urethritis?
First urethritis symptoms appear within a week after infection. Among the indications for the development of pathologic process, include:
- burning, stinging and pain along the urinary tract;
- itching in the genital area;
- the appearance of unusual, malodorous discharge from the urethra, intensifying in the morning;
- coalescence of the urethra;
- redness zone of the external urethral orifice.
The general condition of the patient’s urethritis usually does not suffer. Moreover, the disease for some time may be asymptomatic, but the patient may not even have to know that there was pathology. Symptoms of the disease depend on the shape and the pathogen. The acute form of urethritis develops within a few days and is manifested in the form of heavy or scant purulent mucus in the morning. After some time, there are unpleasant symptoms of itching and burning, and sharp cutting pain in the genital area while urinating. Inflammation of the urethra is not accompanied by weakness or fever. Men are more acutely aware of the appearance of symptoms of urethritis.
The clinical picture of chronic urethritis is somewhat different from the acute form of the disease. At this stage of the disease there is no pronounced pain, but there is discomfort due to adhesion of the output opening of the urethra. Chronic urethritis is accompanied by paresthesia and itching in the urethra. Even in the absence of precipitates fine filaments can be observed in the urine, which are deposited gradually. One cannot ignore the appearance of the above symptoms and hope that everything will go by itself. Be sure to contact your doctor, because the spread of infection can lead to a narrowing of the urethra and the defeat of the other departments of the reproductive system.
What Causes Urethritis?
The most common cause of urethritis is an infection of one of the virus, is the causative agent. As the pathogen may act viruses such as herpes, adenovirus, streptococcus, papilloma virus, coli, chlamydia, staphylococcus, as well as many others. Often the occurrence of infection in the urethra is due to infection from a sex partner. If the inflammation in the urethra was found in both sexual partners, they both should undergo treatment to prevent re-infection. Main the following factors:
- strong physical exertion;
- disruptions in power;
- stressful situations;
- lack of trace elements and vitamins;
- any inflammatory processes developing in men can lead to urethritis manifestation;
- mechanical minor damage or irritation of the penis;
- narrowing of the urethral channel;
- cause the disease can and chemicals that are found in lotions, colognes, soaps and even a condom.
How Is Urethritis Diagnosed?
The primary task of the urologist – is to identify the cause of the disease, to determine whether there are complications. He should review the status of such organs as the bladder, prostate, scrotum. Treatment begins after the transmission and receipt of all necessary analyzes:
- Analysis of medical history and complaints (when there is discomfort, pain, burning during urination, discharge from the urethra, frequent urination, etc.).
- Analysis of the history of life (whether the patient is suffering from any chronic inflammatory diseases, if he had an infection of the urogenital tract, surgery).
- Survey urologist.
- Ureteroscopy (urethra research method is using an optical instrument – urethroscope). Contraindicated in acute urethritis.
- Urethrography (X-ray examination of the urethra after filling it with a radiopaque substance). Contraindicated in acute urethritis.
- The general analysis of urine, a glass sample (methods of the detecting the level of urinary tract lesions, based on the collection of urine during urination series 2-3 cups a separate study of each portion, respectively, it will be 2 or 3 glasses of glass of the sample).
- Bacteriological sowings urological smear (content capture and scraping cells from the urethra), urine, followed by detection of the growth of microorganisms on a special culture and determining the sensitivity of detection of the pathogen to antibiotics.
- Ultrasonography (ultrasound) of prostate, bladder – can obtain an image of the internal organs and to assess whether here are any changes.
- PCR diagnosis (detection in urological and gynecological smears basic and the most common pathogens, including infections, sexually transmitted diseases).
What Are the Treatment Options for Urethritis?
Often, urethritis is caused by ingestion of infections. And that means you need to treat it with antibiotics. They are assigned depending on the type of infection. Urologist may prescribe antibiotics and other treatment, after determining which served as a causative agent and the development of the inflammatory process observed sensitivity to one of the drugs.
When here is gonorrhea form the treatment is prescribed such antibiotics, which kill bacteria diplococci. For treatment of urethritis caused by the yeast (Candida) are used: clotrimazole, amphotericin B, natamycin.
In addition to antibiotics in the treatment held the following medications:
- anti-inflammatory drugs;
- strengthening the immune system – Vitamin B;
- drinking plenty of fluids.
Sometimes, after the treatment has passed, the disease is again making itself felt. Approximately 10% of men relapses occur. This type of disease is called recurrent urethritis. You will need to go through a more thorough diagnosis for re-detection of the pathogen and to direct all forces in its elimination.
What Are the Complications Associated with Urethritis?
If left untreated urethritis, its manifestation gradually subsides and passes into a chronic course. The infection spreads deeper into the genitourinary system and affects the prostate and seminal vesicles. Under the influence of provoking factors relapse of inflammation, infection can spread to the bladder, ureters and kidneys.
How Can I Prevent Urethritis?
To avoid infection of urethritis, men need to use a condom (a trusted brand, without irritable substances) during sexual intercourse. Also it is necessary to adhere to the following guidelines:
- in a timely manner to carry out the treatment of chronic and infectious diseases;
- prevent hypothermia;
- avoid casual sexual contacts;
- to prevent injuries of the penis;
- eat properly;
- immediately pay attention and treat problems that occur as a result of changes in stool – diarrhea, constipation, and more.
In the treatment of urethritis in the early stage of an inflammatory process, there will be no problems and complications. If there is the progression of the disease, this can lead to kidney disease, bladder and go to the reproductive system, which ultimately leads to infertility.