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Foods That Irritate the Urethra

author image Jennifer Byrne
Jennifer Byrne is a freelance writer and editor specializing in topics related to health care, fitness, science and more. She attended Rutgers University. Her writing has been published by,, Primary Care Optometry News, and EyeWorld Magazine. She was awarded the Gold Award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE), 2007, and the Apex Award for Publication Excellence.
Foods That Irritate the Urethra
Tomatoes of all kinds should be avoided if you're experiencing irritation of the urethra.

The urethra, which is a passageway leading from the bladder to the outside of the body, is sometimes susceptible to irritation or infection. This is particularly true of the female urethra, reports, due to the positioning of the urethra near the vagina and anus, two potential sources of bacteria. When a urinary tract infection remains in the urethra without moving to the bladder, this is called urethritis. Irritation of the urethra may also be caused by other conditions, such as urethral syndrome, reports FreeMD. If you are experiencing ongoing discomfort or pain while urinating, speak to your doctor. You can also avoid foods that may exacerbate urethral or bladder irritation.

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Caffeinated foods and beverages should be cut back or avoided entirely while you're experiencing irritation of your urethra or bladder, reports the Urology Center of Florida. Among the caffeinated beverages you should avoid include coffee, tea and soda. also advises against chocolate if you are experiencing urinary discomfort. The Urology Center of Florida recommends drinking plenty of water in place of your favorite caffeinated drinks.

Acidic Foods

Some foods are naturally high in acids, and this can have an aggravating effect on urethral irritation, according to In particular, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes should be eliminated while you're experiencing urinary pain or discomfort. Tomatoes of all kinds should also be avoided. One notable exception in the fruit category is cranberries, which are known as a popular home remedy for urinary tract infections. While cranberries or cranberry juice may provide some relief from your discomfort, they aren't considered a medical treatment.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods tend to worsen the effects of urethral irritation, reports the Urology Center of Florida. FreeMD recommends that you steer clear of spicy condiments such as barbecue sauce, horseradish, hot pepper sauce, mustard and salsa while experiencing a urinary tract infection or other urethral irritation. You should also avoid snacks like spicy crackers, spicy nachos and spicy potato chips.


Alcoholic beverages are also listed as a food to avoid if you are suffering from urethritis or urethral syndrome. According to, alcohol may worsen the discomfort you're experiencing. It is best to minimize or discontinue alcohol consumption while suffering from urethral irritation.

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