Urethritis in women


Urethritis in women is characterized by a main symptom ‘Dysuria’ which is painful urination or difficulty in passing urine.

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Why is Urethritis more in women than men?

Urethritis is more common in women compared to men because the urinary opening in the vagina and the anus are very close to each other. Men are far less likely to contract this because the male urethra is relatively farther from anus, compared to women’s genital makeup. Cystitis is seen in women who have urethritis, which is not so much in men.

Causes of Urethritis in women:

Urethritis reasons can be attributed to bacteria, fungi and in some cases in viruses, like herpes simplex virus. Also though the urethra is affected, in some cases, the vagina, fallopian tubes, uterus and the ovaries can also be affected. The bacteria that causes Urinary Tract Infection, E.Coli can also cause Urethritis.

Here are the situations or conditions that cause this problem:

1. Through Gonorrhea: Organisms that cause gonorrhea, ‘Neisseria gonorrhoeae’ can move up the urethra in women, if they have sex with an infected partner.
2. Chlamdiya and Herpex Simplex: These are also the common sexual diseases that can lead to this condition
3. Lack of hygiene: Not cleaning the vagina properly can also cause the problem. However one should abstain from using strong smelling soap and perfumes in the area.

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Symptoms of Urethritis
In both men and women with urethritis, the common symptom is pain while urinating and a frequent need to pass urine. At times, there may not be these symptoms. In men, due to gonorrhea or Chlamiyda, there may be a yellowish green discharge but this is not so common in women.

In both men and women, there is usually pain with urination and a frequent, urgent need to urinate. Sometimes people have no symptoms. In men, when gonorrhea or chlamydia is the cause, there is usually a discharge from the urethra. The discharge is often yellowish green when the gonococcal organism is involved and may be clear when other organisms are involved. In women, discharge is less common.

Pain while passing urine in women can also be caused due to vaginitis which happens due to acidic urine that irritates the vulva and vaginal lining.

Diagnosis of Urethritis in women

As mentioned in the causes, sexually transmitted organisms are the main reason for urethritis. So the doctors for the purpose of diagnosis will take a sample of the discharge by inserting a soft-tip swab into the opening of the urethra. This urethral swab is dispatched to laboratory for testing to find out the infecting organism.

Prevention and Treatment of Urethritis in Women

The treatment for Urethritis depends on the cause of the problem. Usually for women, the same treatment for cystitis applies. Some of the medications based on the causes include
2. • Ceftriaxone – Gonorrhea
3. • Clotrimazole (Mycelex) – Trichomonial
4. • Fluconazole (Diflucan) – Monilial
5. • Metronidazole (Flagyl) – Trichomonial
6. • Nitrofurantoin – Bacterial
7. • Nystatin (Mycostatin) – Monilial
Antiviral drug like ‘acyclovir’ may be given to women if they are suffering from Herpes Simplex Infection

Prevention of Urethritis in women: Sexual activity should be abstained from during the treatment. Avoid chemical that can inflame the urethra, like strong smellings, soaps, lotions etc.

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