Current Bladder Dysfunction Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 75–82 | Cite as

Urethral Pain Syndrome: A Systematic Review

  • Mashrin Lira Chowdhury
  • Naila Javaid
  • Gamal M. GhoniemEmail author
Inflammatory/Infectious Bladder Disorders (MS Mourad, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Inflammatory/Infectious Bladder Disorders


Purpose of Review

Urethral pain syndrome (UPS) is defined as pain localized to the urethra with an unpleasant sensation, dysuria often accompanied by urinary frequency and urgency present greater than 6 months in the absence of an identifiable cause. A paucity of information exists on the subject as it is often combined with conditions such as interstitial cystitis or prostatitis. The aim is to provide and explain different definitions and diagnostic work-up and discuss treatment options for providers.

Recent Findings

Few recent studies exist addressing urethral pain syndrome. Most literature is decades old. Thirty-five full-text articles were included in the review. This syndrome occurs most commonly in females of childbearing age. Patients must be evaluated thoroughly with full history and physical. Etiologies proposed include sensory dysfunction, pelvic floor dysfunction, psychogenic factors (depression and anxiety), diet, obstruction, infections, and hypoestrogen status. Treatment strategies include behavioral management of stress management, diet modification, pelvic floor treatments, local estrogen, anesthetic with or without cooling, oral medications for related lower urinary tract symptoms, or anxiolytics/antidepressants. Psychological support is recommended for these patients.


UPS can have multiple etiologies and a multimodal therapy should be applied to these patients. Therapy should be individualized, oftentimes including concurrent therapy for overlapping conditions. Serious pathology should be ruled out and a stepwise approach to treatment should be utilized after setting treatment expectations with the patient.


Urethral pain Dysuria Non-infectious urethritis Urethral syndrome 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mashrin Lira Chowdhury
    • 1
  • Naila Javaid
    • 1
  • Gamal M. Ghoniem
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of California, IrvineOrangeUSA

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