ALTERNATIVE DOCTOR, LLC
Urethritis is infection and inflammation of the lining of the urethra the narrow tube that carries urine out of the body and which in men also carries semen. Urethritis is caused by bacteria and may involve the bladder prostate and reproductive organs. It can affect males and females of all ages; females are at higher risk.
Signs and Symptoms
In both sexes but particularly in women the disease may not show symptoms. When it does symptoms include the following.
What Causes It?
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office
A physical examination of your genitals will be necessary and laboratory tests will be done on a urine sample and a specimen of mucus taken from inside the urethra and in women the vagina.
Treatment includes antibiotics or other medications to kill the infection. Sex partners should be treated as well. It is important to refraining from sexual activity until the treatment is completed because infections can remain active even after your symptoms have disappeared. This will help prevent reinfection.
For protozoa infection:
Over the Counter
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Nutrition herbs and homeopathic remedies are useful in fighting infection relieving pain and stengthening the urinary system.
You can make the following changes in your diet to help treat urethritis.
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules powders teas) glycerites (glycerine extracts) or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers and 10 to 20 minutes for roots.
Herbal therapy should begin at the first sign of symptoms and continue for three days after the symptoms go away. Teas provide the best treatment for infectious urethritis because the additional fluid intake helps the flushing action. Combine two herbs from each of the following categories and drink 4 to 6 cups per day.
Urinary antiseptics fight bacteria and include the following.
Urinary astringents tone and heal the urinary tract and include the following.
Urinary demulcents soothe the urinary tract and include the following.
For advanced or recurrent infections prepare a tincture of equal parts goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Take 30 drops four to six times per day in addition to the urinary tea. For noninfectious urethritis or for urethritis with severe pain and spasm add kava kava (Piper methysticum) to any of the above formulas. A periwash may be helpful in reducing pain with urination. Place 1 tsp. of the coneflower/goldenseal tincture in an 8-oz. peri bottle. Fill with water. Rinse off after each time you urinate.
Some of the most common remedies used for urethritis are listed below. Usually the dose is 12X to 30C every one to four hours until your symptoms get better.
Acupuncture may be helpful in enhancing your body's immune function.
If your urethritis was caused by a sexually transmitted disease your sexual partners may need to be treated as well.
STDs can cause permanent damage to reproductive organs and infertility in both sexes. They also can cause difficulties during pregnancy; premature delivery; low birth weight; and infections in newborns.
Bartram T. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. Dorset England: Grace Publishers; 1995:436–437.
Berkow R Beers MH. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. Rahway NJ: Merck and Company; 1992.
Blumenthal M ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Boston Mass: Integrative Medicine Communications; 1998:432.
Bowie WR. Approach to men with urethritis and urologic complications of sexually transmitted diseases. Med Clin North Am. 1990;74:1543–1557. Accessed at www.thriveonline.com.
Hoffman D. The New Holistic Herbal. New York NY: Barnes & Noble Books; 1995:109–110.
Kruzel T. The Homeopathic Emergency Guide. Berkeley Calif: North Atlantic Books; 1992:98–102.
Shealy CN. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies. Boston Mass: Element Books Limited; 1998.
Tierney LM et al eds. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 1999. 38th ed. Stamford Conn: Appleton & Lange; 1999.
Virtual Hospital: University of Iowa Family Practice Handbook. 3rd ed. Available at www.vh.org.