9 steps to clear up urethritis
Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis and out of the body. It may be caused by an infection, an irritation, or a minor injury.
Urethritis is generally picked up through sexual contact, but it can also occur as a complication of brachytherapy, a prostate cancer treatment. Its symptoms are similar to prostatitis, but more severe.
Symptoms of urethritis include:
- watery discharge from penis
- a “glued shut” appearance at the opening of the penis
- discharge from the penis that leaves a brownish or yellowish stain on the front of the underwear
- an itchy feeling inside the penis
- discomfort in the penis during urination
See your doctor if you have an infection so he can prescribe antibiotics. Although untreated urethritis may eventually go away on its own, it can leave you with a worse problem — a urethral stricture or blockage. An injury or untreated infection can cause scar tissue to build up in the urethra. A urethral stricture occurs when this scar tissue shrinks, causing the urethra to narrow and sometimes even become shorter. This makes it difficult and painful to urinate or ejaculate. There is no natural remedy for a urethral stricture.
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Generally, antibiotics will relieve the symptoms of urethritis within 24 hours. However, to completely wipe out the infection, be sure to finish up all antibiotics no matter how soon you feel better.
Typically, urethritis is caused by an infection you picked up from your mate during sexual intercourse. These infections can be passed back and forth between partners, so it’s a good idea to have your mate treated at the same time you are.
Here are some self-help suggestions to comfort and heal an irritated urethra:
- Soak in a sitz bath. Although sitz baths sound somewhat mysterious, they’re really not. Sitz is simply a German word for seat. So, a sitz bath basically involves sitting for 15 minutes in a few inches of hot water. Sitz baths are soothing because they help relieve the discomfort of an irritated prostate. They also appear to improve circulation and healing.
- Don’t squeeze on your penis to see if the discharge is still present. It’s okay to inspect it gently.
- Clean your genitals and surrounding areas with plain, unscented soap.
- Say no to sex or use a condom until you’re free of symptoms for two weeks.
- Drink eight glasses of water a day.
- Chug some cranberry juice. This will acidify your urine and possibly help prevent future problems. Also, some drugs work better if your urine is acidic.
In addition, modifying your sexual habits can help prevent future infections:
- Use the bathroom within 15 minutes after sex. It may help if you drink a glass of water before sex.
- Use latex condoms.
- If you use lubricants, make sure you use a water-soluble one, such as K-Y Lubricating Jelly.
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- FC&A Staff Writer