The tube that connects to the bladder and takes urine outside the body is called the urethra. In women, the urethra is just above the vagina and is usually 1.5 inches in length. It is up to 8 inches long in men and goes outside the body, passing through the penis and the prostate gland. Therefore, there are higher risks of swollen urethra female will experience. Read on to find out the possible causes.
What Causes Swollen Urethra in Female?
A female may experience swelling of the urethra for many different reasons. Your doctor will consider your symptoms and conduct a physical exam to make a diagnosis. Here are some of the most common causes of swollen urethra females should be aware of.
It could be due to a condition called urethritis, which is characterized by inflammation of the urethra. It is common in both men and women, but women are at a greater risk of developing this condition. For symptoms, you may experience discomfort during urination, frequent urination, high body temperature, pain in the abdominal region, chills and abnormal vaginal discharge. You may not experience any symptoms if urethritis has developed due to chlamydia or another infection.
2. Contraception and Sex
If you use contraceptive gels and condoms, they may be the reason why you may have urethral inflammation. Prolonged oral sex, rough intercourse, and intercourse in chlorinated hot tub may also cause urethral irritation.
3. Urethral Syndrome
Besides swollen urethra, female with some additional symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the abdominal area, lower abdominal pain, frequent urination, blood in urine, or trouble urinating, could have a condition called urethral syndrome. You may also experience discomfort in the vulvar area.
4. Bartholin Gland Cyst
In a woman’s genital area, there are two small organs under the skin, which are called the Bartholin glands. These glands may start retaining fluid due to a blockage in them. Such a blockage could be due to a cyst as small as a pea or as large as a marble. It is usually painless and grows slowly.
You may need treatment if you experience symptoms such as redness or painless lump in the vulvar area, discomfort when having sex, sitting, or talking. If you also have fever and chills, drainage from the cyst, and swelling in this area, this may indicate an infection.
It refers to the inflammation of the vagina and causes symptoms such as itching, discharge and pain. You develop this condition when there is a change in the normal balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina. It may also develop when you have reduced estrogen levels after menopause. The most common symptoms are vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, painful urination, pain during sex, and light spotting.
6. STDs and Other Culprits
What’s more, swollen urethra in female can be due to a sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, AIDS, and syphilis. Bruising during intercourse, excessive use of antibiotics, and bacterial infections may also lead to urethral inflammation.
Can It Be Urethral Cancer?
As for urethral cancer, you do not usually experience many symptoms in the early stages. You may notice lump on the urethra as the cancer progresses. Pain or bleeding while urinating may also be noticed in some cases. You may even experience difficulty urinating because the tumor can cause blockage in the urethra. If you experience these symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor immediately to rule out possible risks.
How to Deal with Swollen Urethra in Female
Your doctor will give you antibiotics to eliminate bacterial infection. He or she will order certain tests and prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic until the lab reports come.
1. Medications Help
Doxycycline and Azithromycin are the two most common medicines used to treat swollen urethra in female. Usually administered orally, you need to take these for a week or so to clear the infection.Your doctor may also add a cephalosporin with azithromycin to deal with gonococcal urethritis.
2. Safe Sex
It is important for your partner to be evaluated if you have a sexually transmitted disease causing urethral inflammation, as many bacteria can spread through sexual contract. And that’s why you should practice safe sex. For this, keep a few important things in mind:
- Avoid having sexual intercourse with multiple partners.
- Get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
- Always ask your partner to wear a condom before engaging in vaginal sex.
- You should avoid having sex with others if you know you have an STI.
3. Self-Care Options
When you have already developed swollen urethral, you may consider taking a few self-care measures to make things more manageable. For instance, use castor oil packs, try Mayan massage, and use anti-constipation recipes.
You should also include core muscle strengthening exercises in your routine, such as yoga, Pilates, and more. At the same time, pay attention to maintaining your musculoskeletal health, which can be supported with professionals from specific institutions. And you can opt for either partner-facilitated physical therapy or condition-specific acupressure to help with the healing process.
You may want to know some precautionary measures to avoid dealing with swollen urethra female. For instance:
- Have a balanced diet and avoid bladder irritants such as alcohol, spicy foods, acidic foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine, and smoking. Also, be sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, and add other forms of beverages to your diet.
- Limit your exposure to environmental chemicals in perfumes, soaps, douches, and contraceptive gels.
- Taking supplements such as probiotics, and making use of homeopathic or herbal remedies also helps.