The urethra is your urine transport tube. It carries liquid waste products from your bladder to an evacuation opening above the vagina for women and tip of the penis for men. Swelling or inflammation in the urethra is called urethritis. When you have urthritis, you have frequent and painful urination. Urethritis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, chemical or physical irritation from sexual relations. Chronic urethritis is usually caused by a bacterial infection or narrowing of your urethra.
Visit your doctor for a urine culture to determine if bacteria is the cause of the swelling. Treatment with an antibiotic to fight the specific bacteria should relieve your symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe a pain reliever like pyridium to decrease your frequent burning urinary discomfort. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks while you are healing.
Ask your doctor if you should take a preventive antibiotic if the swelling of your urethra is due to irritation from sexual relations. Some women have repeated episodes of urethritis as an outcome of sexual relations. In this instance, taking a preventive antibiotic before or after intercourse will be recommended. Women should make sure they are well-lubricated before intercourse. Lubricants can be purchased at a chemist. Refrain from sexual relations during treatment for urethritis. If a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia is the cause, your partner may also need to be treated.
Avoid harsh soaps, bubble baths, talcum powder, vaginal deodorant, perfumes, body and bath oils. Women should wash frequently, particularly the vaginal area and the entrance to the urethra after visiting the toilet. Always wipe from the front to the back to avoid getting e-coli bacteria near the opening of your urethra. Men might need to avoid wearing condoms--they can irritate the urethra--until the swelling has subsided.
Drink two or more litres of water each day. To reduce the acidity of your urine and eliminate burning, mix one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a glass of water and drink it a few times if necessary. Urinate often if possible, and don't keep your bladder full.
Ask your doctor if you need surgery to open up the urethra tube. In chronic cases of urethral swelling, urethral narrowing can occur, which may require a medical procedure to open up the urethra tube.
Things you need
- Bicarbonate of soda and water
- Prescription antibiotics