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- Urethral inflammation marked by painful urination, pruritus, hematuria, and/or discharge
- Usually a result of an STI or, less commonly, autoimmune disorders (Reiter syndrome), trauma, or chemical irritation
- Complications such as urethral stricture in men or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women may occur if untreated.
- System(s) affected: Renal/Urologic
- In 2011, 1.4 million new cases of chlamydia and 321,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported by the CDC. Prevalence varies by region, with highest incident in southern US; racial discrepancies include an 8× higher rate for African Americans and a 2.7× higher rate for Hispanic patients compared with whites (1,2).
- Predominant age: 15–24 years, sexually active, following trends for STI
- Predominant sex: Men report symptoms more frequently, but similar incidence is likely.
- Multiple sexual partners and unprotected intercourse
- African American, Native American, or Hispanic ethnicity
- History of STIs, bacterial vaginosis, recurrent candidiasis
- Excessive use of chemical lubricants or powders
- Safer sex techniques and treatment of all partners
- Avoidance of excessive lubricants, powders, or chemical irritants
- Predominantly Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis infection, increased transmission among HIV-positive persons
- Less common infectious agents, including:
- Ureaplasma urealyticum
- Trichomonas vaginalis
- Mycoplasma genitalium
- Viral: Conflicting data on HPV, herpes simplex
- Noninfectious causes (generally rare): Foreign bodies, soaps, shampoos, douches, spermicides, urethral instrumentation
Commonly Associated Conditions
Patients with any suspected STI should undergo testing for syphilis, hepatitis B and C, Trichomonas, and HIV.