Urology Group of Western New EnglandUrology Group of Western New EnglandUGWNE - 413-785-5321 - 3640 Main Street - Springfield, MA


Return to Conditions We Treat


Urethritis is an infection-induced inflammation of the urethra.  Many clinical conditions result in irritation of the urethra.  In addition, urethritis is urethral inflammation caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is normally categorized into one of two forms, based on etiology: gonococcal urethritis (GU) and nongonococcal urethritis (NGU).

Urethritis can be infectious or posttraumatic in nature. Infectious causes of urethritis are typically sexually transmitted.  Rare infectious causes of urethritis include lymphogranuloma verereum, herpes genitalis, syphilis, mycobacterial infection, and bacterial infections that are typically associated with cystitis in the presence of urethral stricture. Other rare but reported causes of urethritis include viral, streptococcal, anaerobic, and meningococcal infections.

Obtaining a careful patient history often helps differentiate between an STD and other causes of urethritis. The doctor’s line of questions can be quite personal, and the goal is to try to obtain an accurate sexual history for the proper treatment.

Symptoms may include urethral discharge, dysuria, urinary frequency,  urgency, itching, orchalgia, menstrual cycle, foreign body.  Symptoms of urethritis may resolve over time, regardless of treatment.  Antibiotics and instructing the patient to refrain from intercourse until treatment of urethritis is complete is a good start.  Patient’s are also educated  about always to use barrier devices when engaging in intercourse with multiple partners and are informed that infections can spread by orogenital or genitoanal intercourse, even in the absence of penovaginal intercourse.


This small diagram shows cutaway views of the male and female reproductive system, with the bladder and urethra indicated, and is a link to a video about urethritis.
Urethritis Video