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What Are the Treatments for Inflammation of the Urethra?
The urethra is a narrow tube that carries urine out of the body. It also carries semen in men. Bacteria, viruses or fungi can cause an infection of the lining of the urethra, also known as urethritis, characterized by burning and painful urination along with unusual discharge from the vagina or the penis 1. The goal of treatment is to improve the symptoms and cure the infection. All the sexual partners of the patient should also be treated. With accurate diagnosis and treatment, the condition can be cured completely.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Antibiotics are the drugs of choice to cure urethritis caused by bacteria 1. A doctor may initially prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective against a variety of bacteria. A more specific drug that acts against the particular causative organism may be prescribed once the laboratory test results are available.
Azithromycin and doxycycline are the most common antibiotics used to treat urethritis 1. They are usually administered orally and the duration of therapy may last for about 7 days. In case of gonococcal urethritis, a cephalosporin, such as ceftriaxone or cefixime, may be added along with azithromycin 1. Traditionally, fluoroquinolones have also be used to treat urethritis, especially gonococcal urethritis 1. However, the John Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology Center states that more than 25 percent strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae are resistant to fluoroquinolones 2. Metronidazole, tinidazole and erythromycin are three antibiotics commonly used to treat recurrent urethritis 1.
- Antibiotics are the drugs of choice to cure urethritis caused by bacteria 1.
- A more specific drug that acts against the particular causative organism may be prescribed once the laboratory test results are available.
Antibiotics to Treat Cystitis
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends antioxidant rich foods, healthy cooking oils, multivitamins, probiotic supplements and grape food seed extract to treat urethritis 1. Most of these methods improve immunity and help the body fight the microorganisms that cause infections of the urethra. Avoiding coffee, alcohol, tobacco, trans fatty acids, and refined foods can also help to improve the overall health of the patient.
A doctor may prescribe pain relievers, such as phenazopyridine, to relieve the symptoms of urinary pain, burning and discomfort that are frequently associated with urethritis 1. It is important to note that these drugs do not cure the infection; they only provide relief from the symptoms. Phenazopyridine is available in tablet form and is usually taken three times a day. Common side effects include headache, dizziness and upset stomach.
- A doctor may prescribe pain relievers, such as phenazopyridine, to relieve the symptoms of urinary pain, burning and discomfort that are frequently associated with urethritis 1.
Antibiotics for Balanitis
Consumption of large amounts of fluids, especially water, can help with the treatment of many urinary tract infections including urethritis 1. Doctors generally recommend drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. This excess water helps to flush out the microorganisms causing the infection.
Antibiotics to Treat Cystitis
Antibiotics for Balanitis
Antibiotics That Kill or Reduce Parasites
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Causes of Gardnerella Infection
What Foods and Drinks Should You Avoid While Having a Bladder Infection?
Can Cranberry Juice Treat Gonorrhea?
What Are the Treatments for a Group B Strep Urinary Tract Infection?
Vitamin C Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis
Grapefruit Seed Extract for a Yeast Infection
- MedlinePlus: Urethritis
- John Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology Center: Urethritis (Men)
- Young A, Wray AA. (2019) Urethritis. Treasure Island, Florida: StatPearls Publishing [Internet].
- Ward H, Rönn M. Contribution of sexually transmitted infections to the sexual transmission of HIV. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2010;5(4):305-10. doi:10.1097/COH.0b013e32833a8844
- Moi H, Blee K, Horner PJ. Management of non-gonococcal urethritis. BMC Infect Dis. 2015;15:294. doi:10.1186/s12879-015-1043-4
- Bachmann LH, Johnson RE, Cheng H, et al. Nucleic acid amplification tests for diagnosis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae oropharyngeal infections. J Clin Microbiol. 2009;47(4):902-7. doi:10.1128/JCM.01581-08
- Brill JR. Diagnosis and Treatment of Urethritis in Men. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Apr;81(7):873-8.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015. Atlanta, Georgia; updated June 5, 2015.
- Bachmann L, Manhart LE, Martin DH, et al. Advances in the understanding and treatment of male urethritis. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Dec 15;61 (Suppl 8):S763-9. doi:10.1093/cid/civ755
A freelance writer and blogger since 2007, Shamala Pulugurtha's work has appeared in magazines such as the "Guide to Health and Healing" and prominent websites like Brain Blogger and NAMI California. Pulugurtha has a postgraduate degree in medical microbiology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India and has completed course work in psychology and health education.