Urethritis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra from any cause (usually infection).
  • Associated with urethral discharge and dysuria
  • Urethritis may develop after exposure to a partner with an STD, bacterial vaginosis, or UTI.
  • Urethritis may also develop after orogenital contact.


  • STD; the most common causes are:
    • Neisseria gonorrhoeae (35%)
    • Chlamydia trachomatis (25–50%)
    • Mycoplasma genitalium and Ureaplasma urealyticum (30%)
  • Rarer causes:
    • Trichomonas vaginalis
    • Candidal species
    • Herpes simplex virus
    • Adenovirus
    • Genital warts
    • Enteric bacteria (in the setting of insertive anal sex)
    • Alcohol
    • Systemic illnesses
    • Urethral foreign bodies

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