Bacterial urethritis in men and women

Urethritis is a condition of inflammation in the urethra. There are a number of causes, which makes for a possible cause of urethritis, and they belong to either bacterial, viral, parasitic, or noninfectious sources (which makes it a bit comparable to legionellosis). Doctors carry out the diagnosis process using an initial step to confirm what sort of urethritis it is.

What causes bacterial urethritis in men?

Bacterial urethritis is caused by a variety of factors;

Complication arising from illness – urethritis can be triggered by illness and the use of drugs that the body does not react well to.

– Inability to fully empty the bladder – urinary tract infection may be triggered when an individual has difficulty fully emptying the bladder. This may cause urine to be held in the body for too long, thereby supporting growth and rapid multiplication of bacteria not only in the bladder but also in the urethra.

– Catheter use – people who cannot control their urine flow or who need aid to pass out urine usually make use of a catheter. This can cause bruising and injury whenever it is been changed. The injury may increase the chances of infection.

– Enlargement of the prostate gland – the prostate gland is the male sex organ. Enlargement of this gland may occur and will prevent total emptying of the bladder during urination, causing urine stagnation which can easily trigger bladder infection which from the bladder enters the urinary canal.

What causes bacterial urethritis in women?

In addition to the common causes of bacteria, due to the characteristics of the female genitourinary system, the causes of urethritis can also be:

– Poor toilet hygiene – people, especially females who make use of unclean or unhealthy toilets are highly vulnerable to infections. The short urethra present in women also allows for easy passage and transportation of infection from the vagina and anus. Also, women who clean up after toilet use by wiping from the anus upfront to the vagina can cause bacteria to be easily transferred into the vagina.

– Forceful sexual intercourse – this can cause bruising and increase the chances of infection.

– Tampon use – insertion of tampons into the vagina can cause bacteria to be introduced to the vagina, which can easily travel to the urinary canal.

– Use of diaphragm – women who also make use of diaphragm as a form of contraceptive during sexual intercourse is also open to the risk of infection or bacterial urethritis.

– Other factors that can trigger urethritis in women may include the use of spermicidal creams and jellies, douching, use of dirty underwear, etc.

– Frequent sexual activity may also cause bacteria to get mixed up in the vaginal discharge. Such bacteria can also find its way into the urethra.

How to distinguish gonorrheal urethritis from bacterial

It is very important to conduct an accurate diagnosis of the urethritis pathogen. Bacterial urethritis occurs due to the multiplication of irregular microflora in the genitourinary system. Gonorrhea urethritis occurs due to the appearance of gonococci in the body. These two types must be distinguished in order to make a correct diagnosis.

The first steps of diagnosis include a careful check for the presence of Gram’s stain which is a urethral discharge suggesting the presence of gonorrhea. This is a step that is easily carried out for urethritis cases in men, and the organism that affects the health condition is distinctive. However, for anatomical reasons, there are certain difficulties to confirm gonorrheal infection in women. This is the historical basis for which the need to test a non-gonorrheal case of urethritis came up.

After the lab-tests when the presence of no gonorrheal infection is found, a person is diagnosed with NGU; out of which the majority of the cases happen to be termed as Chlamydia. 25 – 55 percent of NGU cases occur through a bacterium that is categorized as a pathogenic bacterial genus. Although most often sexually transmitted, it may have a number of other causes to effect into an NGU in males as well as females.

There have been instances when the term NGU has been used alternatively as Non-specific Urethritis (or NSU), especially in the UK. Treatments however pertain to similar methods followed across the world. Every case of NGU/NSU needs a dose of proper antibiotics as should be decided by the doctor. A number of reasons, including sexual contact, can cause NGU. Antibiotic medication is therefore possible to be used in a broad-based way as well. However, a number of factors that decide the choice of antibiotics include a strain of the ureaplasma.

Patients would be advised to visit a doctor as long as symptoms persist, even in a mild form. NGU patients, who are diagnosed early, often get relieved much faster than those who may take longer owing to the growth of the disease. Complications can also concern fertility, skin problems, especially in women, when left untreated. It is advisable to visit a specialist in the field of urethritis and related diseases in order to get a proper diagnosis done.

The article is written by licensed urologists: Dr. David M. Kaufman and David M. Weiner, MD. If you have any questions after reading the article, you can contact us by asking a question in the feedback form

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