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It’s very important to get treatment for urethritis as soon as possible, particularly if it’s been caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or any other kind of infection.

If a bacterial infection is the cause, our doctors can prescribe antibiotics that will clear up your symptoms as soon as possible.

If your urethritis has been caused by irritation due to using certain bathroom products, switching to a different product could be enough to soothe your symptoms. Similarly, if you’ve suffered an injury, avoiding the activity that caused the injury will allow your symptoms to heal.

Antibiotics

If our doctors discover that the cause of your urethritis is an STI, they are likely to prescribe one of the following antibiotics:

It’s important that you take this medication exactly as instructed by the GP. They will explain the dosage and frequency you need to clear up your urethritis as quickly as possible.

If you miss a dose, don’t take a double dose to make up for it, as this could cause unpleasant side effects.

You should also keep taking the medication even if you start to feel better. The doctor will provide a prescription for enough medication to make sure the infection is completely cleared up. Stopping before you’ve completed the full course of medication might results in the infection coming back.

Before you’re prescribed anything, you must inform the GP if you’re taking any other medication. This is because certain medicines don’t react well if mixed with antibiotics, so it may be necessary for the doctor to find an alternative medication or treatment method.

Possible side effects of antibiotics

Before you’re prescribed any medication, the doctor will make sure you fully understand any possible side effects that you might experience when taking your medication.

Side effects of antibiotics include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Some women who are prone to thrush may find that this flares up during their treatment

While these are usually mild, if you suffer from side effects and have any concerns, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Informing your sexual partners

If your urethritis was caused by an STI, it’s important that you let any recent sexual partners know, as they may also have urethritis or an STI. It’s recommended that you get in contact with all your sexual partners from at least the previous three months.

If someone has an STI they don’t know about, it can have a serious impact on their health and fertility. Women, in particular, can develop a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease, which could cause pregnancy complications ranging from birth defects to miscarriage or stillbirth.

If you’re nervous or embarrassed about getting in touch with previous partners, don’t worry. Speak to the GP about the best way to let them know discreetly and with minimum of fuss. It’s often possible to arrange for your local clinic to send out a confidential advice slip to the affected people.

When can you have sex again?

You should certainly avoid having sex again until your urethritis symptoms have cleared up. If you have an STI, you’ll avoid passing it on to anyone else, while if you’ve injured your urethra, it will need time to heal.

If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, you should wait until at least a week after you finish your medication before having sex.

Preventing urethritis

There are a number of ways to prevent or lower your risk of urethritis, each linked to a possible cause.

  • Avoid using perfumed bathroom products.
  • Practise safer sex and use a condom to prevent STIs spreading.
  • Women should ensure they always wipe their bottom from front to back, to prevent bacteria from the rectum entering the urethra.