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Non-specific urethritis (N.S.U.)

 

What is non-specific urethritis?

Non-specific urethritis (N.S.U.) is a bacterial infection that mainly affects men. It is an inflammation of the tube called the urethra, which carries the urine from the bladder to the tip of the penis. It is called non specific as the exact cause is not always known and there can be a range of different causes.

What causes non-specific urethritis?

N.S.U. is almost always caused through sexual infection, the most common being chlamydia. Very rarely it can result from irritation from a product used in the genital area, such as bubble baths, soap  or deoderants. It can also be caused by injury, the urethra is delicate and can be damaged during vigorous sexual activity.

Using a condom correctly and consistently will always reduce the risks of you catching any sexually transmitted disease. N.S.U. may be experienced months or even years into a relationship and it doesn’t necessarily mean your partner has been unfaithful.

What are the symptoms of non-specific urethritis?

There are not always symptoms with N.S.U. but those associated with it include: –

  • Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine.
  • A white/cloudy discharge from the end of the penis.
  • The need to pass urine more frequently.

These symptoms can be associated with many other diseases, so if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms you should visit your doctor or a G.U.M. clinic for advice.

How is non-specific urethritis diagnosed?

The doctor will begin by examining your genital area and he/she will usually take a sample from the penis, using a swab. You will also be asked to give a urine sample, so avoid going to the toilet for at least 2 hours before your appointment.

Is non-specific urethritis easily treated?

Yes, N.S.U. is easily treated with antibiotics. It is very important that any partners get checked as well, and treated if necessary otherwise re-infection can easily occur. A second visit to the clinic is usually recommended after treatment, to ensure the infection has gone. You should also avoid sex, ( vaginal, anal or oral) even with a condom until the doctor has given you the all clear.

How can non-specific urethritis affect me in the future?

N.S.U. may reappear but serious complications are rare. If N.S.U. is left untreated you may experience inflammation of the testicles (testes) and reduced fertility. N.S.U. may also cause arthritis.

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