Updated Jan 31, 2018
Urethral syndrome has many different causes.
I first started this website when I discovered, through my own research, that acid urine (pH of 4 to 6) was causing me pain. I was able to eliminate the pain by taking mineral supplements which make the urine more alkaline (full details are below in the section HOW TO STOP THE PAIN). This worked for me and for eight years I was virtually pain-free. Since that time many people have written in to my COMMENTS page and some of them have uncovered other causes and cures which I will summarise here.
YEAST/FUNGAL INFECTION in the urethra:
In November 2015 Christine, a long-time sufferer of IC/urethral syndrome, posted a potential cure on the Comments page of this website. In brief, she used a drug called Nystatin which kills candida yeast in the intestines. This gave her complete relief. Here is an excerpt from her original letter :
November 1, 2015 at 1:15 am
Greetings all, I am a 65 year old woman who has been suffering with IC [note from Theresa, IC = interstitial cystitis] for 16 years with all my pain located in the urethra. The symptoms were frequent urination acut pain when passing urine or having a bowel movement. Pretty much a feeling of pain there all the time but peeing was like being sliced with razor blades . I had tried years of antibiotics to no avail.
I recently read an article on an site called Bills Story http://www.icsuccessonline.com/Bill.htm [note from Theresa – this links to what appears to be a genuine personal account, no ads] in which he details how he inadvertently cured himself of IC using a course of Nystatin (for Systemic Candida) . A few months back my doctor suggested it could be IC and so I googled like crazy and found numerous support groups and from that started to change my diet ( which helped immensley) but was somewhat limiting and basically was just preventing aggravating the problem . I also tried pure aloe vera juice and that also seemed to help . I bought Prelief that did not help.
After reading Bills story http://www.icsuccessonline.com/Bill.htm I printed it out and took to my doctor and she reluctantly gave me a script for 20 dayof Nystatin taking 1 x 3 times per day. 10 days later I felt it had totally gone.
I have eaten a few tomatoes ( I thought I would test it out) which previously would have caused immense pain and had no reaction. Same with mayo, coffee and a few other previously foods not recommended by the IC diet. I probably should have waited longer (Bill suggests this) before adding foods previously known to cause a flare up but I was too excited at being pain free .
I just wanted to share this as to me it is just miraculous and I am contemplating whether something that simple could have caused a condition that was so debilitating and had lasted for so long. In my case it was like I was peeing glass shards , I would need to pee at least 20 times a day or more. If I bent over it killed me I felt like something was sticking into my urethra. Sex was out of the question and relationship ended
One thing I did notice historically was that I had had many time thrush infections especially after a course of antibiotics. Also Tinea (althletes foot) but never put two and two together. My feeling is although the condition can be managed with Aloe vera and diet it may be able to be cured , as in Bills case and in what now seems to be mine. I returned the doctor last week and ask for a script for a few months as Bill suggests just to be sure. She was amazed and now wants to conduct a study !! I wish everyone well in their quest to recover from this ghastly painful condition and will update my progress in a month or so .
I tried Nystatin myself – the syrup. I took Nystatin oral, 100000 U/ML PMS – 1 teaspoon (5 ml) three times daily for 21 days. From that I got a 100% cure, with no side effects at all. Nystatin is also available in pill form but I do not know the dosage. I continued to have symptoms occasionally while taking the Nystatin, even after 2 weeks of taking it, so I thought it was not working, but I continued taking it until the end, and never had a symptom again. Even when my urine is acid, I have no pain.
So my urethral syndrome was caused by a yeast or fungal infection in the urethra, and acid urine caused pain to the inflamed tissue in the same way that putting lemon juice on cut or scraped skin causes pain.
Therefore I recommend the use of an anti-fungal drug, such as Nystatin, for an extended period of time to cure the underlying cause of burning pain in the urethra. The minerals and alkaline diet can be used to control the pain but it is not a cure.
In January 2018 Gina posted on my Comments page that she had been diagnosed and treated for Shingles which took away her urethral pain. Here is an excerpt:
GINA: Hello Theresa and thank you so much for your comments. I wanted to update you with info that may help others on this board. Over a period of four months I had seen 8 different doctors and even had two visits to the ER when the pain was at its worst. None of the doctors or the hospitals were able to help me after several drugs and labs, in fact they made me worse as I developed horrible stomach problems from the unnecessary antibiotics. At least 2 of the doctors guessed that I must have IC, once suggested Lichen Schlederma, all without any testing at all. This was about the time that I wrote my first post to you. In November I was planning as a last hope to go to UCLA, however a friend recommended another doctor nearby and I decided to try her. She is a regular MD, however she specializes in EpiGenetic Medicine. Her comment to me was “I promise you that I think out of the box and I will do my very best to get you well.” She ordered only one lab test. It was for Zoster Virus. No other doctor thought to run this test. But, it came out positive for SHINGLES! I had absolutely no evidence of any shingles on my body, but she explained that it is a virus that affects the nerves and can be external or internal and can affect any part of the body, in my case the urethra! She started me on a 3-mo protocol of Valacylorvir. Within 10 days the pain began to subside and within a month its was completely gone! I have had a few relapses of the pain, but it is much milder and lasts for only a few days. This is not something that I will ever be cured of because this virus stays in your body, however I am looking forward to a very long remission.
In January 2018 Maria posted to my Comments page that she found relief when treated for Clitorodynia. Here is her letter:
MARIA: Hi, I just wanted to give you an update if that helps anyone to get the correct diagnose and treatment.
I wrote here about a year ago trying to get help with my symptoms, discomfort in the urethra, pain in the external urethral area and constant urge to pee. Tried every supplement, antibiotic, diet etc. and had million urine and other tests came back negative. Went to about 20 doctors during that time without getting any proper diagnose.
Now I have FINALLY been diagnosed properly by a specialist with clitorodynia, like vulvodynia but the pain and discomfort is in the clitoris/urethral area only. It is so close to my urethra so the pain/discomfort is effecting to that as well. Just started with a nerve pain medication (Gabapentin) and I’m glad to say that they are finally helping me and I’m symptom free! So, if anyone is having similar symptoms or pain/discomfort/urge to pee more or less 24/7 in their urethra area, it may be vulvodynia/clitorodynia. It just took a really long road for me to find a correct specialist in this area to actually know what was wrong with me and get the right meds. All the best!
E-COLI UTI INFECTION
In Feb 2018 Melinda wrote in as follows: [To relieve the pain of e-coli UTI infections] Try D-Mannose. It’s a simple sugar that clings to your bladder walls. When you take it, then guzzle water about 45 minutes later, the simple sugar attaches to the e-coli and gets washed out of your bladder. Many women find relief from constant Uti’s from this. You can get it in a powder form (1 teaspoon in a little water before sex and then again after). Or you can buy it in pill form (3 pills before and after). If you are not sexually active, you can just take them morning and night for preventative.
I was diagnosed by a urologist with urethral syndrome thirty-some years ago. In 2008 through my own research I discovered that acid urine was causing me pain. (It would be another 8 years before I learned that the real cause was a yeast infection in the urethra, but during that time I was able to eliminate the pain by maintaining alkaline urine.)
Through continuous monitoring of my urine pH and pain levels over a two month period and regular monitoring for an additional year, I discovered that acidic urine (pH of 4 to 6) is associated with burning pain in the urethra (urethral syndrome or non-specific urethritis). Urine that is neutral (pH of 7) or alkaline (pH greater than 7) is not painful. It is easy to measure your own urine pH with the use of pH test paper.
*Note that it is possible to have acidic urine for a short period of time without experiencing pain. However, if the urine stays acid for any length of time, it becomes painful. As an experiment, we deliberately ‘crashed’ my husband’s urine pH through diet and maintained it at acidic levels. He does not have urethral syndrome. On the ninth day of the acid-forming diet, he experienced burning pain in the urethra.
I encourage anyone experiencing urethral pain with no infection, to measure their urine pH with test paper. For me the relationship was direct and consistent – I only had pain when my urine pH was 6.0 or lower. I NEVER had pain when my urine pH was above 6.5.
If you measure your urine pH every time you pee for a few days, you will know whether acid urine is contributing to your pain. If it is, then you can absolutely eliminate the pain by taking mineral supplements as given below.