Urethral syndrome is a term used to describe symptoms of urethritis , without any evidence of bacterial or viral infection as a cause. Urethritis is an inflammation, infection, or irritation of the urethra. It is most commonly seen in women. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder.
Because there is no evidence of infection, the cause of urethral syndrome is often difficult to pinpoint. Possible causes include:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors include:
The symptoms of urethral syndrome are similar to those of urethritis. Symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam including a pelvic exam. Urethral syndrome is usually diagnosed when symptoms of urethritis are present, but there is no evidence of an infection as the cause.
Tests may include:
Treatment may include:
Avoid irritants that may cause urethral syndrome. Then, wait and see if your condition improves.
Surgery may be done in cases where narrowing of the urethra is thought to be causing the urethral syndrome.
Measures that may help prevent urethral syndrome include:
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
US National Library of Medicine
The Kidney Foundation of Canada: British Columbia Branch
The Kidney Foundation of Canada: Northern Alberta and the Territories Branch
Costantine E, Zucchi A, Del Zingaro M, Mearini L. Treatment of urethral syndrome: a prospective randomized study with Nd: YAG laser. Urol Int . 2006;76:134-138.
Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy . Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2001.
Terris MK. Urethral syndrome. eMedicine website. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com/ .
US National Library of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov .
Last reviewed November 2008 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
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