Urethritis in men: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Urethritis in men needs to be treated quickly and definitely, avoiding causing dangerous complications.

Urethritis in men needs to be treated quickly and definitely, avoiding causing dangerous complications.

Things to know about urethritis in men

  • What is urethritis?
  • What are the symptoms of urethritis in men?
  • What causes urethritis in men?
  • Types of urethritis
  • Treatment of urethritis
  • What are the complications associated with urethritis?
  • Prevent urethritis

What is urethritis?

The urethra, also known as a tube that drains urine from the bladder to outside the body, also drains semen. Urethritis is a condition where the urethra is inflamed and irritated. It often causes pain when urinating and increases the feeling of wanting to urinate. The main cause of this disease is bacterial.

Urethritis is not the same as a urinary tract infection (UTI). They may have similar symptoms, but require different treatments depending on the underlying cause of urethritis.

Urethritis affects people of all ages. In this article we will focus on understanding urethritis in men. According to Antimiccoat, about 4 million Americans suffer from the disease each year, of which the cause is Nongonococcal accounting for 80% of the cases.

What are the symptoms of urethritis in men?

Common manifestations of urethritis in men are:

  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Itching or burning near the penis hole
  • Blood in semen or urine appears
  • The fluid drains from the penis

People with urethritis may also not have any noticeable symptoms, especially for women. In urethritis in men, the symptoms may not be clear if urethritis develops due to chlamydia or sometimes trichomoniasis. For this reason, testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) is essential.

What causes urethritis in men?

Most often, cases of urethritis result from infections from bacteria or viruses. Bacteria are the most common cause of urethritis. The bacteria that cause infections of the bladder and kidney can also infect the urethral mucosa. Natural bacteria in the genital area can also cause urethritis if they enter the urinary tract.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bacteria associated with urethritis include:

  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Mycoplasma

Pathogens are biological pathogens. The same pathogens that cause sexually transmitted diseases can also cause urethritis. These include the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, chlamydia and the parasite that causes trichomoniasis.

There are also viruses that lead to the development of urethritis, including: human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes simplex virus (HSV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Picture 1 of Urethritis in men: Causes, symptoms and treatment Photo 1 of Urethritis in men: Causes, symptoms and treatment
Urethritis in men is a common, easily acquired disease.

Types of urethritis

There are many different types of urethritis, classified by the cause of the inflammation:

  • Bacterial urethritis is caused by the same bacteria that cause gonorrhea through sex. It accounts for 20% of cases of urethritis.
  • Nongonococcal urethritis is a urethritis caused by infections other than gonorrhea. Chlamydia is a common cause of Nongonococcal urethritis, and other sexually transmitted infections are also the culprits.

However, cases of non-STI-related illness may occur. These may include injuries, such as from a catheter or other types of genital injury.

Treatment of urethritis

What urethritis in men take medicine? Antibiotics or antiviral drugs are the first choices. Some common treatments for urethritis include:

  • Azithromycin, an antibiotic, is usually taken as a single dose.
  • Doxycycline, an oral antibiotic, is usually taken twice a day for seven days.
  • Erythromycin, an antibiotic that can be taken orally, four times a day for seven days.
  • Ofloxacin, an oral antibiotic, is usually taken twice a day for seven days.
  • Levofloxacin, an oral antibiotic is usually used once a day for seven days.

Symptoms will improve only after a few days after treatment. However, patients should still complete the prescription according to the doctor's recommendations.

What are the complications associated with urethritis?

Conventional medications can treat urethritis quickly. However, if the infection is not treated, the complications will last and become quite serious:

  • The infection spreads to other parts of the urinary tract, including the ureters, kidneys and bladder.
  • Untreated infections can spread to blood, leading to sepsis, which can be fatal.
  • Infection or prostatitis.
  • Partial narrowing of the urethra due to scarring causes painful urination.

Prevent urethritis

Many bacteria that cause urethritis can be passed on to others through sex. Therefore, safe sex is an important preventive measure. The following tips may help reduce the risk of disease:

  • Avoid having sex with multiple partners.
  • Use condoms every time you have sex.
  • Check men regularly.

Aside from safer sex measures, there are other ways to improve urinary tract health:

  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Pee right after sex.
  • Avoid acidic foods.
  • Avoid contact with spermicide, especially once you know they irritate your urethra.

Is urinary bleeding dangerous? What disease warnings?

Signs identify men with prostatitis