oa South African Medical Journal - The urethral syndrome in women



I. The urethra is an oft-neglected component of the female urinary tract, very susceptible to involvement by chronic inflammatory processes and responsible for the commonest urinary complaints for which a female patient seeks medical advice. 2. The symptoms of increased frequency and dysuria, with or without the presence of aches or pains in various situations in the presence of a negative urine is highly suggestive of a chronic urethritis being responsible for the patient's complaints. 3. The importance of performing urethroscopy with a pan-endoscope preliminary to a cystoscopic examination of the bladder is stressed and the appearances in chronic urethritis are descriptionbed. 4. The fundamental treatment consists of repeated dilatations of the urethra, supplemented by instillations and fulgurations in some cases. 5. The results of treatment are generally very satisfactory, but it is important to remember that over-treatment may do more harm than good. 6. Inflammatory disease of the female genital tract may be a predisposing or aggravating factor, and when present must be appropriately treated to enhance a successful result from local treatment of the urethra. 7. The recognition of the urethral syndrome and its appropriate treatment by relatively simple means will often result in a grateful patient who will be spared much discomfort and inconvenience.


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