What is the pathophysiology of urethritis?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018
  • Author: Martha K Terris, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
  • Print
Answer

Urethritis is an inflammatory condition that can be infectious or posttraumatic in nature. Infectious causes of urethritis are typically sexually transmitted and categorized as either gonococcal urethritis (ie, due to infections with Neisseria gonorrhoeae) or NGU (ie, due to infections with Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium, or Trichomonas vaginalis).

Haemophilus species are an increasing cause of NGU, particularly in men who have unprotected oral sex with men. [2, 3]  Rare infectious causes of urethritis include lymphogranuloma venereum, herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, adenovirus, syphilis, mycobacterial infection, Corynebacterium, [4]  and bacterial infections that are typically associated with cystitis (usually gram-negative rods) in the presence of urethral stricture. Other rare but reported causes of urethritis include viral, streptococcal, anaerobic, and meningococcal infections. However, none of the known viral or bacterial causes are found.in up to 35% of NGU cases. [5]

Posttraumatic urethritis can occur in 2%-20% of patients practicing intermittent catheterization and following instrumentation or foreign body insertion. Urethritis is 10 times more likely to occur with latex catheters than with silicone catheters.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!