Urethritis is an inflammation of a male’s urethra (the tube you pee through).

Key points

  1. Urethritis is usually due to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea.
  2. Urethritis can be caught by having vaginal, anal or oral sex without a condom, or sex play.
  3. If you use a condom every time you have sex you are much less likely to get urethritis.
  4. Testing: You will need a swab test from the urethra and will need to do a urine test.
  5. You need to tell anyone you have had sex with with in the last 2 months to get a sexual health check and treatment.
  6. You should use condoms or avoid sex for 7 days after you and your partner(s) have been treated so you don’t pass the infection on to someone else.


Urethritis can be caused by sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea.
It can also be caused by injury, or other conditions causing the same symptoms, such as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate).


Common symptoms may include:

  • discharge leaking from the urethra
  • pain or discomfort when urinating
  • itching in the urethra.


Urethritis is usually treated with tablets. Sometimes you may need an injection.

Learn more

Urethritis patient information 

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