As urethritis has so many possible causes, the symptoms can really vary from person to person.
Many of the symptoms are similar to those caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), although it’s important to remember that urethritis has many possible causes.
Urethritis symptoms in men
Men may notice a range of urethritis symptoms, including:
- Discharge from the penis
- Burning or pain when you pee
- Irritation or soreness at the tip of the penis
If urethritis is caused by an STI, you may be less likely to notice symptoms. STIs such as chlamydia often don’t have any obvious symptoms, but they can still pose a risk to your health if they’re left untreated, so you should still see a doctor if you’ve had unprotected sex.
In more severe urethritis cases, you may notice blood in your semen or urine. This is something you need to see a doctor about as soon as possible, as they can help you find out why this is happening.
Urethritis symptoms in women
Women are less likely than men to experience any urethritis symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, you may notice:
- Needing to pee
- Pain when you pee
- Burning or irritation
- Discharge from the vagina
If left untreated, urethritis in women can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a serious and sometimes painful condition that could eventually lead to fertility problems. If you’re concerned about PID, you should see a doctor if any of the above symptoms are accompanied by:
- Pelvic or stomach pain
- Pain during sex
- Bleeding after sex
- Heavy periods
- Period pain
How long does it take for urethritis symptoms to appear?
If your urethritis is caused by an infection, you might not notice any symptoms straight away. In fact, symptoms might not appear for weeks or even months after you’ve been infected.
If the condition has a non-infectious cause, you will probably be aware of symptoms quicker. For example, an injury, or irritation caused by bathroom products, is likely to cause discomfort within a couple of days.
What to do if you notice these symptoms
You can get an appointment with one of our doctors from 6am - 11pm, 7 days a week. You can discuss your symptoms with an experienced GP in the comfort of your own home and get the help you need at the push of a button.