DESCRIPTIONUrethritis is inflammation or infection of the urethra (the tube through which urine travels from the bladder to the outside), frequently accompanied by bladder infection or inflammation (cystitis). The female urethra is much shorter than the male's. The urethra, bladder (sometimes), and prostate (sometimes) are involved. Urethritis can affect all ages, both sexes, but is 10 times more common in females.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSPainful or burning urination with cloudy, yellow-green mucus discharge from the urethra.
Frequent urge to urinate, even when there is not much urine in the child's bladder.
CAUSESBacteria that enter the urethra from the skin around the genitals and anal area.
Bruising during sexual intercourse.
In males, infection is associated with:
Non-specific urethritis, which may be caused by sexual contact or irritation of the urethra.
Infections that reach the urethra through the bloodstream from the prostate gland or through the penis.
In both sexes: The infection may be associated with gonorrhea, which is spread by contact with an infected sexual partner.
Bacterial infection. In females, the infection is associated with:
RISK FACTORSUse of a urinary catheter.
Use of drugs to which bacteria causing infection have become resistant.
Previous kidney stones, prostatitis, epididymitis, or genital injury.
Multiple sexual partners.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
For causes related only to females: After bowel movements, wipe from front to back and wash with soap and water; take showers rather than tub baths.
For both sexes: Drink 8 glasses of water every day.
Your own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by a doctor; urinalysis and urine culture; cystoscopy (sometimes -- See Glossary); for chronic urethritis, some doctors dilate the child's urethra with blunt surgical instruments.
Chronic urethritis and cystitis, if treatment is inadequate.
Spread of infection to your child's ureters and kidneys.
Urethritis is usually a "low grade" infection, seldom producing serious, long-term illness. Recurrence is common.
To relieve pain, encourage your child to take sitz baths by sitting in a tub of hot water for 15 minutes at least twice a day.
Males should not irritate the urethra by pulling the penis skin down to open it and see if the discharge is still present. The penis may be inspected but should not be squeezed.
Your child should keep the area around the genitals clean with unscented plain soap.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight your child's infection. Be sure the child finishes the prescribed dose, even if symptoms subside sooner.
No restrictions, except to avoid any sexual activity until free of symptoms for 2 weeks.
DIET & FLUIDSDrink 8 glasses of water every day.
Drink cranberry juice to acidify urine. Some drugs are more effective with acid urine.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol during treatment.
Instructions for your child:
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of urethritis.
The following occurs during treatment:
-- Oral temperature of 101F (38.3C) or higher.
-- Bleeding from the urethra, or blood in the child's urine.
-- No improvement in 1 week, despite treatment.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.