Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that pee goes through to get out of the body. There are several causes of urethritis.
The most common causes are Sexually Transmitted Infections. These cases are divided into two main kinds :
• Gonococcal urethritis : which is caused by gonorrhea bacteria and makes up close to twenty percent of infectious cases.
• Nongonoccocal urethritis : is caused by bacteria that isn’t gonorrhea but is still highly infectious. It causes about eighty percent of cases.
In a few cases, urethritis may be caused by something else other than bacteria or viruses. These are rare but could happen if there is an injury or an irritation of the urethra. It could be caused by urinary catheters, antiseptic, spermicide or other chemicals.
Signs and symptoms of Urethritis
In men, below are symptoms of urethritis :
• Blood in the semen or urine
• Itchy painful or swollen oenus
• Burning pain while peeing
• Frequent need to pee
• Discharge from the penis
• Fever (rare though)
• Enlarged groin lymph nodes
• Pain during sex and ejaculation
Urethritis symptoms in women include:
• Burning or pain while peeing
• Frequent or urgent need to pee
• Peeing only small amounts at a time
• Cloudy or foul-smelling pee
• Pain in the lower belly area
• Pelvic pain
• Pain during sex
• Vaginal discharge
• Fever and chills
Causes and Risk Factors of Urethritis
• Bacteria such as E. Coli and the strains that cause Chlamydia and gonorrhea
• Parasites such as those that cause trichomoniasis
• Viruses such as herpes simplex virus, human papillomavirus (HPV) and cytomegalovirus
• Trauma to the urethra, from a catheter or injury
• Irritation from chemicals found in spermicide, contraceptive jelly or foam, soaps or other topical products
It is not unusual for urethritis to be caused by more than one problem (for example, multiple bacteria strains) at once, especially in women. There are also cases of urethritis with unknown cause.
Natural Ways to Help Manage Urethritis Symptoms
1. Drink lots of water
According to a publication, it is recommended that folks who suffer from urethritis take plenty water both during and after treatment. Drinking enough water will help you flush bacteria out of your urethra, reduce concentration of the bacteria in your bladder and urine and reduce your risks of getting infected in the future. This is especially necessary for females who have shorter urethra than males.
Usually, you’re advised to take about eight to ten glasses of waters everyday. However, you may need to drink more water on days when it’s hot or if your exercise often. Spread your drinking out during the day so that you urinate about once every ninety minutes. This means that you’ll be flushing the urethra regularly while emptying your bladder.
2. Take care with hygiene
Some urethritis cases are caused by bacteria from the anus getting into the urethra. An example is E.coli. Most cases of urethritis may not be from poor hygiene but taking good care of your genitals can help relieve symptoms in some cases and can help prevent future infections. The following tips could help :
• Was your genital area with water and a soap with mild or no fragrance. Gently pat dry afterwards.
• Avoid body wash, lotion, soaps or other genital products that are heavily scented.
• When wiping your genitals, do so from front to back, not the other way. This is to avoid moving stool into the urethra.
• Take more showers and less baths. If you want to do a bathe, don’t add bubble baths, soaps, salts, shampoos or other things into the water.
• Don’t hold in your urine when you need to pee. Keeping urine in the bladder for long periods of time can allow bacteria to accumulate.
• Avoid genital deodorants, scented pads, sprays or scented underwear.
• Do not douche
• Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing.
3. Adjust your sexual activity
The majority of cases of urethritis are often as a result of Sexually transmitted infections and they could be passed along to others. Adjusting your sexual habits could help relieve symptoms and keep you from spreading this. Consider the following :
• Avoid sex if you experience symptoms of urethritis, are undergoing treatment or even seven days after treatment. If you still experience symptoms one week after treatment, you should speak with a heath care professional and still avoid sex.
• If you must have sex, keep your partner safe by using a condom.
• Use a lubricant that is water-soluble, but without dyes or fragrances.
• Don’t use spermicides, contraceptive jellies or foams, especially if you have fragrances or chemicals that caused the irritation.
• Don’t take part in vigorous sexual activity as this could cause trauma to the urethra.
4. Tweak your diet
It is suggested that though dietary changes are not for sure impacting urethritis, they may be able to help. There’s also evidence that diet has an effect on folks with similar conditions affecting the urinal tract. You could adjust your choice of foods, and what you drink to see if this helps ease the pain in your urethra. Options include :
• Stay away from carbonated beverages, caffeine, alcohol, fruit juice and tea.
• Reduce your intake of foods and drinks that are high in acid like tomato products, lemon juice, cranberry juice, etc.
• Avoid spicy foods.
• Avoid artificial sweeteners and chocolate from your diet.
• Take lots of water, low-acid foods, milk, vegetables, meat, poultry, rice, oats, seafood and snacks.
You could also try tracking your diet and symptoms to note if your urethritis gets worse after drinking or eating some stuff. If you’ve had gut trouble from taking antibiotics in the past and if you’re worried about overall bacterial balance, speak with your physician about adding a probiotic to your diet.
5. Consider herbal remedies
Natural remedies have long been used to treat irritation and infection in the urinary tract. Since most cases of urethritis are caused by sexually transmitted infections, you should see a health care provider for evaluation and medication if needed. If you are interested in trying herbal remedies or supplements to see if they help your symptoms, discuss them with your health care provider first. Some herbs and supplements can interact with medications or cause health problems in some people.