Sometimes the symptoms of urethritis may be slow
The information contained within this publication is for
to settle, or they may return after a week or two.
general information only. Readers should always seek independent, professional advice where appropriate.
If you have taken the antibiotics and have not had
Royal Adelaide Hospital will not accept any liability
sex, it is unlikely that an infection is still present.
for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any
In most cases, the symptoms should resolve in
a week or two and you should not need further
Please refer any questions about this information to your
treatmentIf you have had sex or did not take
treating medical officer and/or nursing staff.
the medication as directed, or have persistent
symptoms for longer than two weeks, you should
Occasionally, men may experience a discharge from the penis or discomfort when urinating, but laboratory tests show no evidence of infection (ie the swab results are normal). This condition is called urethral irritation. It means the urethra has been affected by something other than an infection.
Possible causes of this condition include:
STD Services web site:
> repeated squeezing or milking of the urethra
> very frequent or vigorous masturbation or sexual
Monday, Thursday and Friday
10am – 4.30pm
> concentrated urine caused by dehydration
Tuesday and Wednesday
> caffeine and/or alcohol, possibly some
11am – 6.30pm
1st floor, 275 North Terrace
Free and confidential advice, testing and
Telephone: 8222 5075
treatment for all STDs including HIV/AIDS
Urethral irritation is not sexually transmitted and always settles without antibiotic treatment. It
Toll free country call: 1800 806 490
will settle faster if you avoid sex, masturbation,
squeezing or milking the penis, alcohol and
in languages other than English, call the
Interpreting and Translating Centre on (08) 8226 1990 and ask them to call the Royal Adelaide Hospital. This service is free.
Department of Health, Government of South Australia. All rights reserved. RAH.07.09.153
Urethritis is usually treated with doxycycline (Doryx,
Take one gram of azithromycin as a single dose.
Vibramycin) or azithromycin (Zithromax).
This may be either two or four tablets depending
> Take a single dose of two capsules daily for
Azithromycin may cause abdominal pain and
nausea. If this happens, eating sometimes helps.
> Take the capsules after a meal.
The symptoms usually settle within a few hours.
> Drink a full glass of water after taking the
capsules, and do not lie down for at least half
Do not have sex until the results of your
The main side effect of doxycycline is irritation of
the stomach. If you follow the instructions but
> discharge (milky or pus-like) from the
experience abdominal pain after taking doxycycline,
try taking two daily doses of one capsule. Stomach
> stinging or burning during urination
irritation is less likely if you avoid alcohol.
Symptoms such as discharge, stinging or irritation
> itching, tingling, burning or irritation
will settle down much more quickly if you do not
Doxycycline may make the skin more sensitive to
have sex (vaginal, oral or anal), masturbate, or
sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, and wear a hat,
long sleeves and sunscreen while you are taking the
Return to the clinic for the results of all your tests.
Doxycycline must never be taken by pregnant women
Urethritis not caused by either gonorrhoea or
The doctor gently inserts a swab into the
chlamydia is called non specific urethritis (NSU).
urethra. The specimen is then examined in
Do not have sex until the results of your
The cause of NSU frequently is not known, but
antibiotic treatment is usually effective.
Swabs are best taken three or four hours
Although NSU does not cause symptoms in women,
female partners of men with NSU may need to be
Never share your treatment with anyone else.
If an infection is present, it can sometimes
Partners do not automatically require treatment.
be detected at the STD clinic on the same
They should be examined by a doctor first.
day. However, it usually takes several days for chlamydia and gonorrhoea results to become available.
HIT Standards Committee Vocabulary Task Force Jamie Ferguson, Chair Betsey Humphreys, Co-Chair Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20201 Email: National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics Justine M. Carr, M.D., Chair Chief Medical Officer Steward Health Care 500 Boylston Str
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