Urethritis is irritation or infection of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that empties urine from the bladder. In men the urethra extends the full length of the penis.
Urethritis may be caused by infection. A yeast infection and sexually transmitted diseases or infections (also called an STD or STI), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, are common causes.
Irritation of the urethra can be caused by chemicals, such as lubricants, spermicide, or condoms with scents, colors, or flavors.
Symptoms may include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you. Your provider may swab discharge from the penis to test for bacteria in the lab. A sample of your urine may be tested for infection.
Your healthcare provider will likely prescribe antibiotics if your symptoms are caused by bacteria. Symptoms caused by an infection should stop within a few days after you start taking antibiotics. Take antibiotics for as long as your healthcare provider prescribes, even if you feel better. If you stop taking the medicine too soon, you may not kill all of the bacteria and you may get sick again.
If your symptoms are caused by an STD or STI, treating the infection should help. Your recent sexual partners should also be treated.
Your provider may prescribe another medicine to help relieve burning with urination and discomfort in the bladder.