Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

What Doctors Don't Tell You

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

October 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 8)

What alternatives to surgery are there for Urethral syndrome?

About the author: 

What alternatives to surgery are there for Urethral syndrome? image

Q-I have been diagnosed as having urethral syndrome

Q-I have been diagnosed as having urethral syndrome. My consultant has been unable to offer me any choice of treatment, except a stretching of the urethra. He was unhelpful when I asked for more information about this operation, and he became angry when I said that I had read that this operation may have harmful side effects, and may not be a useful operation in any case. I am nervous about having an operation that may be harmful. WT, Manchester.........

A-Urethral syndrome is a broad term that covers a range of diseases of the urinary tract and bladder. It's even been called the 'female prostate'. The condition is very common, and it's been reckoned that 20 per cent of the female adult population will see their GP at some time with the problem.

Not surprisingly, the syndrome can be triggered by a variety of causes. Often, it is caused by infection sometimes sexually transmitted but this is by no means the whole story: trauma, allergies, age and the onset of the menopause, stress and even muscular abnormalities have all been suspected.

There's even a small pocket of resistance that regards urethral syndrome as a myth, no doubt the creation of hysterical women seeking attention whereas a similar condition in men is usually referred to as "painful"!

One study found that 80 per cent of all cases are caused by Escherichia coli infection, while fertile women may also be infected by Staphylococcus saprophyticus (Tidsskr No Laegeforen, 1991; 111: 215-8). The most common infection in a study of 237 patients was with Ureaplasma urealyticum, found in 38 per cent of the group. Sexual infections such as herpes and gonorrhoea were also found in a small percentage (Int J Gynaecol Obstet, 1988; 27: 177-80). The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis is also frequently linked to the condition (Salud Publica Mex, 1992; 34: 301-7).

The standard treatment is a course of antibiotics. In a study of 77 patients, 75 per cent reported improvement with wide spectrum antibiotics, including macrolides and mepartricin (an antifungal and antiprotozoal) (Eur Urol, 1994; 26: 115-9). A three month course of nifedipine, a calcium inhibitor, was also effective (Urol Clin North Am, 1994; 21: 107-11).

Surgery, and in particular urethral dilation, came to the fore 20 years ago, and is based on the theory that the syndrome is caused by anatomical problems (Minn Med, 1990; 73: 33-4). It is an approach that has fallen out of favour among urologists who left medical school less than 10 years ago. A questionnaire among 194 urologists in the US found that 60 per cent of those trained in recent years would never consider dilation as an option. Interestingly, 21 per cent trained more than 10 years ago thought dilation was "very or extremely successful" in treating the syndrome whereas none of the group trained more recently shared that view (Urology, 1999; 54: 37-43).

Of all the alternative treatments, acupuncture helped to improve the condition in 128 patients better than standard Western treatment given to 52 other sufferers (J Trad Chin Med, 1998; 18: 122-7).

There's also a wide range of alternative remedies that can help relieve symptoms of urinary tract infections, including cranberry juice, vitamin C (although this can aggravate the condition in chronic cases), tea tree oil, and herbs such as buchu, burdock, coriander, cornsilk, Echinacea and juniper berries (Alternative Medicine, Tiburon, California: Future Medicine Publishing, 1999).

Saving animals more important than 'saving face' image

Saving animals more important than 'saving face'

Is insulin a better bet than oral drugs? image

Is insulin a better bet than oral drugs?

You may also be interested in...

Support WDDTY

Help support us to hold the drugs companies, governments and the medical establishment accountable for what they do.


Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions..

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

© 2010 - 2019 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved