Urethra Inflammation & Causes in Women

Updated February 21, 2017

Urethral inflammation (also known as urethritis) is characterised by inflammation of the urethra which is the narrow tube through which urine exits the body. Both women and men can acquire a urethral infection. However, women run a much higher risk of infection.


The symptoms of urethra inflammation vary, and some women suffer no detectable symptoms at all. However, those women that do experience symptoms report pain during urination and the frequent urge to urinate, pelvic pain or discomfort, abnormal vaginal discharge that is often thick and yellow, and pain or discomfort during intercourse.

Causes in Women

There are several causes of urethra inflammation in women. The most common of these are the sexually transmitted diseases Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS.

However, urethra inflammation can also be caused by bacteria entering the urethra, bruising during sexual intercourse or a course of antibiotics.

Occasionally, the cause of urethra inflammation cannot be identified and is referred to as non-specific urethritis (NSU).


For women, the diagnostic procedure for urethra inflammation is minimally invasive. Your doctor will physically examine your vagina, take a sample of your vaginal fluid and ask you tor provide a urine sample.


Urethra inflammation is most often treated by a course of antibiotics as well as the elimination or management of any underlying sexually transmitted diseases if present.

If you are currently sexually active or were when you first began experiencing symptoms, then your partner will need to be diagnosed and treated as well. In addition, it is important to refrain from sex during treatment because the infection may still be present and transmittable even though your symptoms may have dissipated.


As the symptoms of urethritis can often go unnoticed, it is important to have regular checkups by your doctor. While most cases of urethral inflammation resolve on their own, certain underlying infections can result in complications if left untreated.

These complications include eye problems and infections which can even be passed on to newborns during delivery resulting in opthalmia neonatorum or newborn eye infection). Other symptoms include oral and anal infections, vaginal gland cysts and inflammation as well as sterility and ectopic pregnancy.

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About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.