Urethritis: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 4/30/2019

Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra, the tube that leads from the bladder to the outside of the body. Urethritis occurs in both men and women and causes symptoms such as burning or pain during urination, the need to urinate frequently, feeling and urgent need to urinate, and the presence of blood or pus in the urine that can alter the color of the urine. Fever and chills can also accompany urethritis. In older adults, urinary tract infections, including urethritis, can cause a number of symptoms that include mental status changes and confusion. Urethritis often occurs together with inflammation of the bladder, known as cystitis.

Causes of urethritis

A bacterial infection is the most common cause of urethritis. Causes can include irritation and sexually-transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2019

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