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Urethral Syndrome

(Urethral Irritation)

Definition

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.
Female Urethra
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Causes

Because there is no evidence of infection, the cause of urethral syndrome is often difficult to determine. Possible causes include:

Risk Factors

Urethral syndrome is most common in women. Factors that may lead to an undetected infection:

Symptoms

Urethral syndrome may cause:
In men, uretheral syndrome may specifically cause:

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask 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

Treatment may include:

Medication

  • Antibiotics for a possible undetected infection
  • Anesthetics
  • Antispasmodics to reduce bladder spasms
  • Antidepressants
  • Alpha-blocking drugs to relax muscle tone

Avoidance of Irritants

Avoid irritants that may cause urethral syndrome. Then, wait and see if your condition improves.

Surgery

Surgery may be done in cases where narrowing of the urethra is thought to be causing the urethral syndrome.

Prevention

To reduce your chanc of urethral syndrome:

RESOURCES

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases http://www.niddk.nih.gov

US National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Urological Association http://www.cua.org

The Kidney Foundation of Canada http://www.kidney.ca

References

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.

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