Urethritis

What Is It?

Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. Urethritis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection. Much less often, it is the result of an injury from an instrument such as a urinary catheter or exposure to an irritating chemical such as an antiseptic or a spermicide.

Doctors usually classify sexually transmitted (infectious) urethritis into two categories: gonococcal urethritis, caused by gonorrhea bacteria, and nongonococcal urethritis, caused by bacteria other than gonorrhea.

Gonococcal urethritis, commonly called clap, is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. Gonorrhea infections are passed from person to person during sexual activity (vaginal, oral and anal intercourse).

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