Urethral syndrome is a set of symptoms from inflammation or irritation of the urethra that are not related to a bacterial or viral infection. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder.
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Because there is no evidence of infection, the cause of urethral syndrome is often difficult to determine. Possible causes include:
Urethral syndrome is most common in women. Factors that may lead to an undetected infection:
Urethral syndrome may cause:
In men, urethral syndrome may specifically cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It will include a pelvic exam. Urethral syndrome is usually diagnosed when symptoms of urethritis are present without evidence of an infection.
Tests may include:
Treatment may include:
Avoid irritants that may cause urethral syndrome. Then, wait and see if your condition improves.
Surgery may be done in cases where narrowing of the urethra is thought to be causing the urethral syndrome.
To reduce your chance of urethral syndrome:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Canadian Urological Association
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Costantine E, Zucchi A, et al. Treatment of urethral syndrome: a prospective randomized study with Nd: YAG laser. Urol Int. 2006;76:134-138.
Gittes RF, Nakamura RM. Female urethral syndrome. A female prostatitis? West J Med. 1996;164:435-438.
Nongonococcal urethritis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116488/Nongonococcal-urethritis. Updated December 27, 2015. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Last reviewed August 2015 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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