Which factors related to STD risk increase the risk for secondary urethritis?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018
  • Author: Martha K Terris, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Certain sexual practices may increase or decrease the likelihood of contracting urethritis secondary to an STD.

Contraceptive use

Using condoms helps substantially decrease the chance of STD transmission. Other types of birth control either do not improve or worsen the chance of transmitting urethritis. The use of spermicides may cause a chemical urethritis, with associated dysuria findings that mimic those of infectious urethritis.

Age at first intercourse

Except in some religious groups who encourage marriage and monogamy at an early age, a younger age at first intercourse is correlated with increased risk of contracting STDs.

Number of sexual partners

Individuals with multiple partners are more likely to have contracted an STD. Long-term monogamous couples are extremely unlikely to contract an STD. A married patient should not be informed of the diagnosis (or possible diagnosis) in the presence of his or her spouse, but the spouse should be treated once the patient has had the opportunity to explain the situation.

Sexual preference

Homosexual men have the highest rate of STDs. They are followed, in order of occurrence rates, by heterosexual men, heterosexual women, and homosexual women.

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