Urethritis is defined as an inflammation of the urethral area. The common symptom of this condition is considered to be difficult and painful urination. It can be caused by many infectious and non-infectious causes. Some of these causes can include herpes, adenoviridae, Reiter’s syndrome, and many other conditions. Men may experience discharge that is purulent, indicating that the inflammation is gonococcal in nature. If it is clear discharge, the inflammation is non-gonococcal. Urethritis is considered to be difficult to diagnose in women due to the fact that discharge is generally not present. There may be symptoms of dysuria and urgency, however. In order for a doctor to be able to diagnose urethritis, they must examine the testicles and penis to check if there is any swelling or soreness in the area. The urethra may be visually examined during this time as well. Sometimes a cotton swab is inserted into the urethra and then rotated in order to take a sample for examination by the lab. Men may also have to experience a digital rectal examination in order for the doctor to inspect the prostate gland and ensure that it is not showing any signs of infections or swelling. For women, the examination also requires a swabbing for lab tests and a visual examination of the urethra area. The doctor may also ask patients about their symptoms for further confirmations. Depending on the overall cause of the urethritis, there may be a variety of different drugs that are prescribed to treat the condition. Generally, these are prescription drugs which must be taken with doctor’s orders. The doctor may also suggest a change in hygiene. Optimal care and hygiene of the perineal area should be focused upon. For women, this would include avoiding the use of vaginal deodorant sprays and wiping properly after bowel movements or urination. Those who are dealing with urethritis are advised to avoid having sexual intercourse until all of the symptoms have disappeared, otherwise it may be possible to worsen the condition or to pass it on to the sexual partner. There are some causes and risks that can be lessened, assuming that the individual is willing to avoid unprotected sex and other factors. In example, there are many chemicals which can irritate the urethra area and these should be avoided. This can include lotions, detergents, soaps, contraceptives, and many other items. Some individuals experience urethritis because they are allergic to ingredients or chemicals that are included within these products. Those who have urethritis are recommended not to use these products until their infection has subsided.

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