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Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, the channel that carries urine from the bladder to the meatus, the orifice through which urine exits the body. This inflammation is caused by infection and is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Many germs cause urethritis such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis, which are the two most frequently involved.


The symptoms of urethritis are:
  • a sharp burning pain during urination;
  • irritation at the meatus;
  • urethral pain;
  • discharge, more frequently present in the morning.

Gonorrhea most commonly affects homosexuals and is quicker to manifest itself. Chlamydia on the other hand, mainly affects heterosexuals and takes longer to appear.


The diagnosis of chronic urethritis is made by a general practitioner and is based on a questionnaire of the sexual practices of the subject, a physical examination and analysis. Analyses of urethral secretions can depict causes. Cultures or microscopic analyzes are also often performed. More complex molecular biology techniques are also possible.


The treatment of urethritis is through antibiotics, depending on the identified bacteria. In the case of sexually transmitted infections, a search for other STIs should be done, and partners should be screened and, if necessary, treated. Protected sex is a must until fully healed.


Urethritis is a sexually transmitted infection, and thus condom use is preventive. Safe sex, especially for people with multiple partners, can help prevent contamination.

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