Symptoms and Signs of Urethritis in Men

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 6/30/2022

Doctor's Notes on Urethritis in Men

Urethritis in men refers to inflammation of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis and to the outside of the body. This inflammation most commonly results from bacterial infections. Many sexually-transmitted diseases can cause urethritis in men, including Chlamydia, Trichomonas, and gonorrhea. Urethritis can also be caused by bacteria that are present normally in the stool, such as E. coli. Certain herpesviruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2) can also cause urethritis.

The Characteristic symptoms of urethritis in men include 

  • painful urination with a burning or stinging feeling, 
  • frequent urination (urinary frequency),
  • penile discharge,
  • blood in the semen or urine, and
  • feeling a powerful urge to urinate (urinary urgency).

Other associated symptoms are pain during sexual intercourse, cloudy urine, and difficulty starting the urine stream.

What is the treatment for urethritis in men?

Bacterial infections are the most common cause of urethritis in men and require treatment with antibiotics.

  • Certain types of urethritis related to viral infection may be treated with antiviral medications.
  • If a sexually-transmitted infection is the cause of the urethritis, sex partners of the infected person must also be treated.
  • It is important to take all the medications that is prescribed, even if the symptoms go away, to avoid recurrence of the condition.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.