Inflammation of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. A distinction is usually made between inflammation caused by gonorrhoea and the normal form, which is more common; in 25 per cent of such cases no cause can be found (non-specific urethritis, NSU). Almost all forms can be transmitted by sexual intercourse. The condition is often associated with cystitis , and causes smarting during urination and an increased desire to do so. The urine often contains blood or pus, and urethral discharge may occur; any discharge should be examined to establish the cause of the inflammation and to ascertain which antibiotics to prescribe. At the same time information should be sought about sexual contacts, both to establish a possible source and to prevent passing on the infection. Any sexual partners should be treated at the same time.