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Non-Specific Urethritis

Additional information about non-specific urethritis including symptoms in men and women

Non-specific urethritis (NSU) is a bacterial STI (sexually transmitted infection) that is completely curable with the right course of antibiotics. The term "non-specific" is used when the primary cause is not known.Non-specific urethritis can cause an inflammation to the urethra, which can potentially lead to an inflammation of the testicles or even infertility if untreated. This condition can also be called non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) or urethritis as well. Whilst it is more common in men than in women, it can affect both sexes and as NSU is usually asymptomatic, many people will not realise they have the infection.

Whilst there are no symptoms, non-specific urethritis treatment should be used as soon as the infection is discovered, as long-term health complications can arise. If you require treatment, Azithromycin or Doxycycline are both available to order online at OnlineClinic. When ordered before 4pm, you will receive antibiotics the next day, discreetly packaged for complete confidentiality.

Dr Hilary Jones Dr Hilary Jones
OnlineClinic
Medical Advisor

"STIs can cause long-term complications if they are not treated. Taking the right medication is vital."

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What is non-specific urethritis?

Non-specific urethritis is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is also frequently referred to as its abbreviated term 'NSU'. It can also be called non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) or just urethritis. When you see any of these terms mentioned in other sources, they are the same condition, however, you will find 'non-specific urethritis' is used more often as the direct cause is unknown.

Urethritis directly affects the urethra (the tube that transports urine in the bladder causing you to urinate), causing unpleasant symptoms in some, detailed under the non-specific urethritis heading below.

Non-specific urethritis causes

The direct cause of the vast majority of NSU (NGU) cases is unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with the bacteria able to transport to the urethra, causing inflammation. However, it isn't always associated with intercourse. As the infection is non-specific in most cases, no precise cause can be found, however, we can narrow down the possibilities and not knowing the particular cause doesn't mean NSU treatment is ineffective.

Quite often, it is another STI that triggers an additional NSU infection. We do know that gonorrhoea is never involved, as this is caused by another strain of urethritis called gonococcal urethritis.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most frequent cause of non-specific urethritis. It is unclear whether it is most common due to the compatibility of the two infections, or down to the fact that chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI to contract, meaning the numbers are naturally higher.

Spread between oral, vaginal or anal sex, the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria can cause NGU in approximately 4 out of 10 cases of chlamydia.

Other STIs

The NHS state that other sexually transmitted infections can also be linked to NSU / NGU. This includes viral and parasitic STIs, as well as bacterial.

  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Trichomonas vaginalis

Other infections

  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Adenovirus
  • Bacterial vaginosis

Other possible causes

Whilst the most common causes are STIs, in particular chlamydia, there are lifestyle changes that can stop you from developing non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU). These include:

  • Vigorous sex
  • Squeezing the urethra
  • Soaps or deodorants localised towards the genitalia
  • Spermicides
  • Latex condoms
  • Objects, such as catheters

Non-specific urethritis symptoms

Like most STIs, urethritis doesn't often pose any symptoms, however, it should always be treated as it can cause complications in the long run, including recurrent bouts and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women that leads to infertility and ectopic pregnancy. If you are experiencing any symptoms, these can differ in men and women, and you should always be examined and use the full course of treatment, even if the symptoms lessen or disappear.

Symptoms in men

  • White and/or cloudy discharge
  • Burning when urinating
  • Pain when urinating
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Irritation at the tip of the penis

Symptoms in women

  • Unusual discharge (often yellow or green)
  • Abnormal bleeding (between periods and after sex)
  • Heavy or painful periods
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain around the pelvis
  • Pain during sex (felt deep inside the pelvis)

If symptoms do appear, it tends to be within the first few months of contracting the infection, and you should avoid sexual intercourse until the STI has cleared.

Treating non-specific urethritis

The only way to treat NSU (NGU) caused by STIs and infections (excluding gonorrhoea) is a course of antibiotics that you must complete fully, regardless of whether the symptoms disappear or lessen over time.

Once you have visited the Sexual Health Clinic or GUM Clinic, you will be recommended the right medication:

  • Azithromycin
  • Doxycycline

In the unlikely event that symptoms persist after completing your course of medication, you should contact your doctor or sexual health clinic as soon as possible to double check the medication has worked perfectly.

Preventing non-specific urethritis

The only way to prevent NSU (NGU) is to practise safe sex with your partner(s) and if you have been diagnosed with urethritis then your partner(s) will need to seek medication as well. It is also necessary to contact past partners over the last year, as it can take weeks or months for symptoms of the infection to appear, if they surface at all.

  • Always use condoms if you're not 100% sure
  • Consider other barrier contraceptives, such as dental dams for oral sex
  • Go for regular testing at the STI Clinic
  • Minimum partners lowers STI risk
  • Do not share sex toys, or wash thoroughly before sharing

Buying treatment

At OnlineClinic, you can order both options that cure a NSU (NGU) infection, Azithromycin and Doxycycline. Your NSU should clear up within a week of using these highly effective treatments. We at OnlineClinic only provide clinically proven UK medication. In order to buy Azithromycin 250mg or 500mg tablets, or Doxycycline 100mg tablets you must first complete a quick, simple online consultation, in order to be issued a prescription for the treatment. This can be completed confidentially online at OnlineClinic. For more information, please refer to the Azithromycin and Doxycycline product pages.

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