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					Urethritis and Urethral Irritation
Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra           Doxycycline                                         Azithromycin
(the passage in the penis that urine and semen      • Take a single dose of two capsules daily for      Take one gram of azithromycin as a single dose.
pass through). It has several causes. The most        10 days.                                          This may be either 2 or 4 tablets depending on
common are chlamydia and gonorrhoea, but            • Take the capsules after a meal.                   their strength.
other bacteria or viruses may be involved.          • Drink a full glass of water after taking the
Often the cause is not identified.                    capsules, and do not lie down for at least half   Side Effects:
                                                      an hour.
                                                                                                        Azithromycin may cause abdominal pain and
Symptoms                                                                                                nausea. If this happens, eating sometimes helps.
                                                    Side Effects:
There may be no symptoms.                                                                               The symptoms usually settle within a few hours.
                                                    The main side effect of doxycycline is irritation
When symptoms are present, they may include:
                                                    of the stomach. If you follow the instructions
• discharge (milky or pus-like) from the penis      but experience abdominal pain after taking                            IMPORTANT!
• stinging or burning during urination
                                                    doxycycline, try taking two daily doses of one           Do not have sex until the results of
• itching, tingling, burning or irritation inside
                                                    capsule. Stomach irritation is less likely if you
  the penis.                                                                                                   your tests are back and at least
                                                    avoid alcohol.
Diagnosis                                           Doxycycline may make the skin more sensitive                      a week has passed.
If you have any of these symptoms, you need         to sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, and wear a
tests to find out whether you have urethritis.      hat, long sleeves and sunscreen while you are
                                                                                                        General notes
The doctor gently inserts a swab into the           taking the capsules.
                                                                                                        Symptoms such as discharge, stinging or
urethra. The specimen is then examined in the
                                                                                                        irritation will settle down much more quickly
laboratory for signs of infection. Swabs are best        Doxycycline must never be taken                if you do not have sex (vaginal, oral or anal),
taken 3 or 4 hours after you last passed urine.       by pregnant women or young children.              masturbate, or squeeze the penis.
If an infection is present, it can sometimes be
                                                                                                        Return to the clinic for the results of all
detected at the STD clinic on the same day.
                                                                                                        your tests.
However, it usually takes several days for                           IMPORTANT!
chlamydia and gonorrhoea results to become              Do not have sex until the results of            Non specific urethritis (NSU)
available.                                                                                              Urethritis not caused by either gonorrhoea or
                                                         your tests are back and you have
                                                                                                        chlamydia is called non specific urethritis (NSU).
Treatment of urethritis                                    finished taking all the tablets.
                                                                                                        The cause of NSU frequently is not known,
Urethritis is usually treated with doxycycline
                                                                                                        but antibiotic treatment is usually effective.
(Doryx, Vibramycin) or azithromycin                 Never share your treatment with anyone else.
                                                                                                        Although NSU does not cause symptoms in
(Zithromax).                                        Partners do not automatically require
                                                                                                        women, female partners of men with NSU may
                                                    treatment. They should be examined by a
                                                                                                        need to be examined.
                                                    doctor first.
                                                                                                                                           Urethritis




                                                                                                                                  5
                                                                                                                                           and Urethral
Recurrent or persistent urethritis                   More Information                                                                      Irritation
Sometimes the symptoms of urethritis may be          STD Services web site:
slow to settle, or they may return after a week      www.stdservices.on.net/std/nsu
or two.                                                                                                                                    Sexually Transmitted
If you have taken the antibiotics and have not                                                                                             Diseases Services
had sex, it is unlikely that an infection is still                                                                                         Royal Adelaide Hospital




                                                                                                                                  7
present. In most cases, the symptoms should
                                                                                                                                           Free and confidential
resolve in a week or two and you should not
                                                                                                                                           advice, testing and
need further treatment.                                                                                                                    treatment for all STDs
If you have had sex or did not take the                                                                                                    including HIV/AIDS
medication as directed, or have persistent
symptoms for longer than two weeks, you
should consult a doctor.
                                                                                                                                           No appointment necessary
Urethral irritation




                                                                                                                                  2
Occasionally, men may experience a discharge                                                                                               Monday, Thursday & Friday
from the penis or discomfort when urinating,         Disclaimer
                                                     The Royal Adelaide Hospital, STD Services and Clinic 275 have
                                                                                                                                           10am – 4.30pm
but laboratory tests show no evidence of
                                                     endeavoured to ensure that the information in this publication
infection (ie the swab results are normal).          is accurate, however they make no representation or warranty                          Tuesday & Wednesday
This condition is called urethral irritation.        to this effect. You rely on this publication at your own risk.
                                                     The Royal Adelaide Hospital, STD Services and Clinic 275 disclaim                     11.00am - 6.30pm
It means the urethra has been affected by            all liability for any claims, losses, damages, costs and expenses
something other than an infection.                   suffered or incurred as a result of reliance on this publication.
                                                     As the information in this publication is subject to review, please
Possible causes of this condition include:           contact a medical or health professional before using this
• repeated squeezing or milking of the urethra       publication.




                                                                                                                                  Clinic
                                                                                                                                           1st floor
• very frequent or vigorous masturbation or          The Royal Adelaide Hospital, STD Services and Clinic 275 do not
                                                     sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material in                            275 North Terrace
  sexual activity                                    resources suggested in this publication; and do not make any                          Adelaide 5000
• concentrated urine caused by dehydration           warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, or
• caffeine and/or alcohol, possibly some             fitness for purpose of any material in these resources.
                                                                                                                                           Telephone
  medications
                                                                   FRO




• general illness                                                                                             Royal Adelaide
                                                                                                                                           08 8222 5075
                                                                     ME




                                                                                                                 Hospital
• allergies.                                                                                                      Main
                                                                      ROA




                                                                                                                Entrance
Urethral irritation is not sexually transmitted                                                                                            Toll free country call
                                                                                                                                           1800 806 490
                                                                         D




and always settles without antibiotic treatment.
It will settle faster if you avoid sex,                   N
masturbation, squeezing or milking the penis,         NORTH TERRACE                                         Clinic 275 Entrance            email
alcohol and caffeine consumption.                                                         275           First floor                        std.services@dhs.sa.gov.au
                                                                                         North
                                                                                        Terrace

                                                                                         Clinic     2     7    5                           web site

                                                                                                  STD Services June 2007
                                                                                                                                           www.stdservices.on.net

				
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