What are the signs and symptoms of urethritis?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018
  • Author: Martha K Terris, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Many patients with urethritis, including approximately 25% of those with NGU, are asymptomatic and present to a clinician following partner screening. [1] Up to 75% of women with Chlamydia trachomatis infection are asymptomatic.

Signs and symptoms in patients with urethritis may include the following:

  • Urethral discharge: May be yellow, green, brown, or tinged with blood; production unrelated to sexual activity

  • Dysuria (in men): Usually localized to the meatus or distal penis, worst during the first morning void, and made worse by alcohol consumption; typically not present are urinary frequency and urgency

  • Itching: Sensation of urethral itching or irritation between voids

  • Orchalgia: Heaviness in the male genitals

  • Worsens during menstrual cycle (occasionally).

  • Systemic symptoms (eg, fever, chills, sweats, nausea): Typically absent

See Clinical Presentation for more detail.

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