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Classification according to ICD-10
N34 Urethritis and urethral syndrome
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

As urethritis or inflammation of the urethra is called a mucosa - inflammation of the urethra , which like a bladder infection to the lower urinary tract belongs. Typical symptoms are itching, burning sensation when urinating ( alguria ) and purulent discharge ( fluor urethralis ), often also dysuria and pollakiuria .
A distinction is made between the two forms of gonorrheal urethritis and non gonorrheal urethritis .

If the disease is left untreated for a long time, the inflammation can spread to deeper tissue layers ( periurethritis , cavernitis ) and, with certain pathogens, also affect the reproductive organs (or their mucous membranes) and, in the worst case, cause sterility .


Most cases of urethritis can be traced back to sexually transmitted diseases . Practicing safer sex reduces the risk of infection , but does not offer reliable protection, as a smear infection can easily occur even with a condom . However, urethritis can also occur in the context of another disease (e.g. Reiter's disease , diabetes mellitus , typhus abdominalis , bacterial decline in an upper urinary tract infection) and in some allergies . The regular introduction of foreign bodies (in the form of a urinary catheter or for self-gratification ) into the urethra and the associated irritation of the mucous membrane promotes inflammation.

to form

Gonorrheal urethritis

Gonorrhoeic urethritis (GU) - also known as specific urethritis - is caused by infection with the pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae and is better known as gonorrhea . See: gonorrhea .

Non gonorrheal urethritis

Non- gonorrheic urethritis (NGU) - the so-called unspecific urethritis - is the most common sexually transmitted disease in industrialized countries and, in contrast to gonorrheic urethritis, can be caused by various pathogens, but mostly by chlamydia .

Other non-gonorrhoeic pathogens

Atrophic urethritis

The inflammation causes the urethral tissue to swell , making the lumen smaller. However, the swelling does not completely recede, which would return it to its normal diameter . On the contrary, the urethra shrinks, the tissue scars and hardens . After the urethritis has healed, a permanently narrowed urethra ( urethral stricture ) remains .


Meatitis is an inflammation of the urethral orifice ( meatus urethrae externus ).


Approximately 62 million new infections with gonorrheic urethritis and 89 million new infections with non-gonorrheic urethritis are reported worldwide, affecting men and women equally, but the disease is more common in homosexual men than in heterosexual people and homosexual women. Urethritis occurs in all age groups, but the most severely affected are 20- to 24-year-olds, due to the increased sexual activity during this period. Chlamydia in particular are widespread among female adolescents and young adults due to the low or often nonexistent symptoms.

Possible consequences


The Periurethritis is an inflammation of the urethra surrounding connective tissue . In addition to urethritis, an injury to the urethra or an indwelling urinary catheter can also be responsible.


As cavernitis a refers to inflammation of one or more corpora cavernosa of the penis ( corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum penis ) due to urethritis or injury.


There is a possibility that the swollen tissue in the healing process hardens and a urethral stricture leads.


The medication depends on the causative pathogen, this is determined after taking a sample of the urethral secretion ( smear ) using different methods. For uncomplicated chlamydial infection: Doxycycline 2 × 100 mg for 7 days, alternatively azithromycin 1 g as a single dose.

Individual evidence

  1. meatitis - medical dictionary