Urethritis: Rapid Evidence Review

Jarrett Sell, Munima Nasir, Chloe Courchesne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Urethritis refers to inflammation of the urethra and is classified as gonococcal (caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae) or nongonococcal in origin (most commonly caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, or Trichomonas vaginalis). The most common signs and symptoms include dysuria, mucopurulent urethral discharge, urethral discomfort, and erythema. Diagnostic criteria include typical signs, symptoms, or history of exposure in addition to mucopurulent discharge, Gram stain of urethral secretions showing at least two white blood cells per oil immersion field, first-void urinalysis showing at least 10 white blood cells per high-power field, or a positive leukocyte esterase result with first-void urine. First-line empiric treatment consists of ceftriaxone and doxycycline; however, the antibiotic regimen may be targeted to the isolated organism. Repeat testing is not recommended less than three weeks after treatment because false-positive results are possible during this time. Patients treated for a sexually transmitted infection should have repeat screening in three months, with shared decision-making about future screening intervals. Patients treated for urethritis should abstain from sex for seven days after the start of treatment, until their partners have been adequately treated, and until their symptoms have fully resolved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-558
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican family physician
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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