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noun, plural: urethritides or urethrites

(pathology) Inflammation of the urethra


Urethritis is the inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that conveys urine from the urinary bladder to the outside. It is responsible for discharging urine from the bladder to the external environment. In males, the urethra is also responsible for transporting semen for reproductive purposes. The urethra may become inflamed. This could lead to a painful or difficult urination. An inflamed urethra is usually caused by bacterial infection and oftentimes the infection is a sexually transmitted infection. The bacterial species usually associated with urethritis is Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Urethritis caused by this species is referred to as gonococcal (or gonorrhoeal) urethritis. Urethritis that is caused by other bacterial species is called a non-gonococcal urethritis. These non-gonococcal bacteria include Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, uropathogenic Escherichia coli, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Streptococcus agalactiae. Apart from bacteria, certain viruses are also associated with urethritis. These are the herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, and certain adenoviruses. Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasitic protozoon, may also cause urethritis.

Apart from pain or discomfort during urination, other symptoms of urethritis include pain during sexual intercourse, discharge from the urethral opening, and in men, blood in semen or urine.

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