Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra, the tube in the centre of the penis where you pee from.
Urethritis commonly affects men and may have no symptoms. It is only discovered by a microscopic examination of the secretions.
In some cases, it may cause symptoms of stinging, burning or pain passing urine. There may be a discharge from the tip of the penis, which may stain underwear. If anyone has these symptoms, it is essential to have a full screening examination with a full set of tests.
Urethritis in men may be caused by Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea. These bugs are reliably detected by the ultrasensitive tests now available. Often, we do not find the precise cause, and the condition is called Non-Specific or Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (NSU or NGU). Some of the bugs that cause NGU have been identified in research studies, but are not detected in normal clinical practice. The good point is that the condition responds to the right antibiotic. Sometimes the inflammation can be caused by non-infectious causes such as trauma, sex and masturbation. Also irritants such as soap may aggravate symptoms.