Inflammation of the urethra - the tube carrying urine from the bladder to the outside. Urination is frequent and painful, with a sensation of heat and stinging. Inflammation may travel upwards into the bladder, especially in women, leading to cystitis.

Most urethritis is caused by infection with the bacteria E. coli, normally present in the gut where it is harmless, but becoming a threat when it migrates to other parts of the body. However, urethritis can also be a symptom of gonorrhoea, so it should always be investigated.

At the first sign of irritation, repeated local swabbing can sometimes prevent the infection developing. Bergamot is really the best oil to use. Dilute 3 or 4 drops first in a little vodka, and add this to a litre of boiled and cooled water. Swab after every urination. Add 6 drops of Bergamot to a full bath and soak for 20 minutes, twice a day if possible. If no relief is obtained, do not delay consulting a doctor.

See also entries for CYSTITIS, BLADDER and URINARY TRACT.

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