What is it?

Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that wee passes through. It can be caused by different bacterial infections. The most common causes of urethritis are:

How do I know if I have it?

Symptoms could include:

  • Discomfort or pain when weeing
  • Different discharge from the penis
  • If you have symptoms, they will show from 1-3 weeks after you have sex with an infected person.

How did I get it?

It is passed on through any type of sex. This is where the bacteria are passed from one person to the other.

How can I make sure I don't get it?

Always use condoms during sex. Even if you use a condom you shouldn’t have sex with someone who has had urethritis until a week after they have finished the treatment. Have regular STI checks – doing this stops STIs from causing serious health issues. It also helps stop the spread of STIs to others.

How can the nurse or doctor tell me if I have it?

A thin swab is taken from the end of the urethra (urine passage). This is then looked at under a microscope. A urine test for STIs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea is usually done at the same time.

How can I get rid of it?

Urethritis is treated with antibiotics. For the antibiotics to work you need to complete the whole course. Symptoms should start improving within a few days. If you don’t treat it, it can lead to long-term problems such as pain in your testicles or arthritis.

Who do I need to tell?

It is important to tell people you have had sex with about urethritis. They will need to be tested and treated. Ask a nurse or doctor if you aren’t sure who you need to tell. They can help you with this and help you contact them.

More information

Before release

Talk to a nurse at your local Health Centre.

After you are released

Sexual Health Info Link is a service that you can call up for information on STIs and sexual health. It’s anonymous and non-judgemental. Free call: 1800 451 624 or visit their website www.shil.nsw.gov.au

For more information on STIs and safe sex visit the Play Safe website: www.playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au “Let them know” allows you to send an anonymous messages to tell someone you’ve had sex with that they have come into contact with the infection: http://www.letthemknow.org.au/

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