- What Causes Sharp Pain in Urethra?
- Infections Causing Urethritis and Sharp Pain in Urethra
- Other Conditions Causing Pain in Urethra
- When to Consult a Doctor for Urethral Pain?
- How Can I Avoid my Urethral Pain?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Pain in Urethra
Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra (a tube responsible for carrying out the urine out of the body). It is mostly caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) but may also result due to an injury to the urethra (caused such as by using a urinary catheter) or irritation of the urethra due to exposure of some chemicals such as antiseptics or spermicides.
Sexually transmitted urethritis is further classified into two types –
- gonococcal urethritis (caused by gonorrhea bacteria)
- non-gonococcal urethritis (caused by bacteria other than gonorrhea)
What Causes Sharp Pain in Urethra?
Urethra is the lowermost part of the urinary system responsible for carrying the urine out of the body. Urethra may sometimes become highly inflamed resulting in sharp pain.
Sharp pain in urethra has different causes including infections, and other environmental causes. Pain in the urethra may be sometimes caused due to a serious underlying medical condition and requires immediate medical intervention.
Sharp pain in the urethra can be sometimes extremely uncomfortable and may result in painful urination. Urethral pain is found in both men and women and the common causes include STDs (chlamydia), urinary tract infections (UTIs), chemical irritation, etc.
Following are some of the causes of sharp pain in urethra:
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
These infections may involve any part of the urinary system including urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. UTIs occur due to various bacterial infections that may enter the urethra from colon or rectum. Once inside the urethra, these bacteria divide and increase in number leading to severe inflammation.
From the urethra, these bacteria may enter the bladder and result in sharp pain in the urethra especially during urinating.
Different bacterial and viral infections cause inflammation of the urethra called urethritis.
Urethritis can occur in both males and females and often present symptoms like:
- Painful urination
- Pain in the urethra
- Itching of the urethra
- Abnormal urethral discharge such as the release of mucus or pus
Urethral syndrome is characterized by non-infectious inflammation and irritation of the urethra and often leads to extreme sharp pain in the urethra.
Sharp pain associated with the urethral syndrome is mainly caused due to irritation or sensitivity of urethra to various things such as perfumes, soaps, bubble baths, sanitary napkins, spermicides, condoms, sexual intercourse, urethral injury, douches, etc.
Different factors such as infections, injuries, and inflammations are responsible for scar tissue formation in the urethra which in turn causes narrowing of the urethra called a urethral stricture. Urethral strictures are often associated with:
- Sharp pain in urethra
- Reduced urine output
- Painful urination
- Improper bladder emptying
Obstructive uropathy is caused due to blockage in the urinary system which makes it difficult to pass urine out of the body. Blockage in the urinary system may sometimes lead to backflow of urine into the kidneys which may result in full or partial kidney damage.
The associated symptoms may include:
- Pain in the urethra
- Reduced urine output
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Blood in the urine
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PIDs are caused due to various bacterial infections that primarily start in the vagina or cervix and then move towards the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. If the PID causing bacteria enter through the urethra, they may result in sharp pain in the urethra.
Vaginal Yeast Infections
Vaginal yeast infections are caused due to an overgrowth of fungus Candida in the vagina which leads to extreme itching, and burning in and around the vagina.
Vaginal yeast infections often cause pain in the urethra especially during urination due to inflammation of the urethra caused by the fungus.
Epididymitis is the inflammation of the epididymis in males resulting in testicular pain and swelling, and tenderness of the epididymis.
STDs may be sometimes responsible for inflammation of the epididymis and therefore result in pain in urethra and testes.
Blockage of the urinary tract due to kidney stones may also lead to sharp urethral pain especially while passing the urine.
Inflammation of the prostate gland is referred as prostatitis. Acute prostatitis caused due to various bacterial infections may result in severe urethral pain, pelvic pain, painful ejaculation, frequent UTIs, etc.
Infections Causing Urethritis and Sharp Pain in Urethra
Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra caused due to various factors such as infections, irritation to some chemicals, sexually transmitted diseases, other causes.
Other Conditions Causing Pain in Urethra
Besides infections, there are some other factors responsible for urethral pain and these may include:
Medications and Foods
Some medications and foods irritate the urethra and result in extreme urethral pain. These include chocolates, acidic juices, carbonated beverages, some medicines like Procardia (nifedipine).
Traumatic Injury to the Urethra
Any kind of damage to the urethra either due to traumatic injury or cystoscopic procedure may lead to sharp pain in the urethra.
When to Consult a Doctor for Urethral Pain
For mild urethral pain caused due to chemical irritation, you don’t need to worry as it will go away as soon as you stop using such chemicals. But for extreme painful urethritis you may need to consult a doctor especially under the following conditions:
- If you have difficulty in urinating followed by extreme discomfort
- If you face burning sensation while peeing
- If you have pain in your genitals
- If you have a high body temperature, nausea, vomiting, and back pain
How Can I Avoid my Urethral Pain?
Urethral pain can be very annoying and uncomfortable and may interfere in your normal day to day activities. Following measures can be taken for avoiding the pain:
- Drink plenty of fluids for avoiding bladder infections
- Maintain genital hygiene
- Avoid exposure to chemicals such as douches, feminine hygiene sprays, and other perfumed hygiene products
- Use sanitary pads or tampons that are perfume and deodorant free
- Urinate before sex
- Use medications as prescribed by your doctor