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Urethra is the tube inside a man’s penis which passes the urine from his bladder during urination. Sometimes, a man has to deal with urethritis, which is inflammation of the urethra, generally caused by an infection. Usually, but not always, urethritis is caused by a sexually transmitted infection or an STI/STD. Let us read on to know more about this sexual health issue.
The urethra in men is a narrow fibromuscular tube in the penis that assists in passing the urine as well as the semen from their body. It is an important part of a man’s body as it helps in the excretion of the urine and in ejaculation. However, it is also prone to certain diseases, such as urethritis, which is the swelling and irritation of the urethra. Typically caused by an infection, it is a known fact that it is commonly caused by an STI or an STD but not in all the cases.
There can be different types of urethritis, such as:
- Gonococcal Urethritis: caused by gonorrhoea.
- Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU): caused by something other than gonorrhoea. This could be from another type of STI or from repeated irritation of your urethra.
- Non-specific Urethritis (NSU): urethritis that doesn’t have a known cause.
*According to a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, oral sex may be a risk factor for nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). Read on to know more about urethritis in men:
As we have discussed above, STIs and STDs can be a cause of urethritis in men. Some of these STIs, apart from gonorrhoea include:
- Genital Herpes.
However, their are other ways of getting urethritis as well, such as:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Yeast infections.
- Exposure to irritants like spermicides, douches and soaps.
- Squeezing your penis roughly.
- Activities that put pressure on your urethra, like riding a bicycle and some sexual acts.
- Putting something up inside your urethra, such as a catheter to help you pee.
Dealing with urethritis can become an uncomfortable situation for men and can showcase certain symptoms as well. Some of these symptoms are:
- Blood in urine or semen.
- Painful ejaculation after sex.
- Penile discharge.
- Burning sensation while urinating.
- Itching, tenderness, or swelling in the penis.
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin area.
Prevention of Urethritis
The bacteria that causes urethritis in men can be passed from one person to another through sexual intercouse. Indulging in unprotected sex would be a big mistake even if you are married or are in a serious relationship. Practicing safe sex is an important preventive measure. Some of the other preventive steps that you can take include:
- Not having sexual contact with multiple partners.
- Using condoms every time you indulge in sexual activity.
- Getting tested on a regular basis.
- Informing your partner if you find out that you have an STI/STD.
Dealing with urethritis can be painful for any man as it is an agonising disease. While it can be easily treated with antibiotics, these medications can have certain side effects on your body parts as well. However, if left untreated, it can cause more problems in your body and be much more painful than it earlier was. The best way is to take preventive measures to make sure that you are never diagnosed with it.
Journal of infectious diseases: https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/193/3/336/2191545