Alternative Names: It is also often called NSU (non-specific urethritis) or NGU (non-gonococcal urethritis).
Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra, usually a sexually-transmitted disease. Urethral Syndrome. This refers to a primarily female syndrome in which women suffer from irritative bladder symptoms (urinary frequency, urgency, burning, and more) in the absence of any objective urologic findings. That is to say, when they under medical evaluation their physicians discover no specific findings to account for their symptoms.
Urethral syndrome can be a very frustrating and upsetting disease. While this disease is not life-threatening, it can cause disrupting symptoms and be difficult to treat. An understanding physician can help significantly in the diagnosis and treatment of these problems.
The true cause of urethral syndrome is not known. Some feel that it may be due to urethral stenosis (narrowing) but this is not well documented. Others feel that it may be due to infectious agents which are difficult to isolate, neurologic factors, or psychology factors.
Because the most likely cause of urethral syndrome remains infectious, antibiotics are the first treatment choice of most physicians. If different antibiotic regimens fail, other treatments must be tried. These include looking into the bladder (cystoscopy) and perhaps burning some apparently infected areas using a special scope. Some physicians may try to instill different chemicals into the bladder to treat urethral syndrome. At other times, a patient may respond to certain oral pharmaceutical agents which relax or otherwise relieve bladder symptoms.
The irritative symptoms accompanying urethral syndrome include: urinary frequency, urgency and burning in addition to possible low back pain, pain above the pubic region, and a hesitant or slowed urinary stream. Because these symptoms are so common with other urinary problems, your physician must eliminate other disease possibilities and diagnose urethral syndrome by exclusion.
Vestibulitis may sometimes be part of bladder and/or urethral inflammation as seen in the interstitial cystitis or urethral syndrome. The lining of both vagina and bladder arise from the same tissue during fetal development; thus when one becomes inflamed, the inflammation may spread to the adjoined areas.