Urethritis refers to an inflammation that affects the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body).
Usually, an infection is the main cause of the inflammation. When the condition is caused by pathogens (germs) and not by the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea, it is known as non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU). Sometimes, it is called non-specific urethritis (NSU) when no cause can be found.
Urethritis is the most common condition and is a sexually transmitted disease. Read about urithritis in general.
NGU is commonly found in men because the organisms that cause this infection are sexually transmitted and the male urethra is always at higher risk of infection during intercourse (female urethra is seldom infected during intercourse).
Teenage boys and men in their twenties, having multiple sex partners are most at risk for this type of infection.
Several types of organisms can cause NGU. The most common and serious of them is chlamydia. Chlamydia is common in both males and females. But, due to anatomical differences, the diagnosis of NGU is more commonly made in males than in females.
Some of the germs that can cause NGU include:
Non-gonococcal urethritis is transmitted by three ways which include:
During birth, infants are at high risk as they are exposed to the germs causing NGU in passage through the birth canal. This may cause the infections in such as:
The symptoms are seen or experienced more in the morning and are given below:
Sometimes women may also be asymptomatic (have no symptoms). Symptoms of NGU in women can include:
Anal infection may result in:
Nearly, 90 percent of the oral infections are asymptomatic (have no symptoms), but some people might have a sore throat.
Most common causes of non-gonococcal urethritis include an infection, irritation or damage to the urethra. There are also many cases where no cause is found as such.
Causes of non-gonococcal urethritis include:
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections that cause non-gonococcal urethritis. Chlamydia is spread through unprotected sex (sex without a condom), anal and oral sex.
Urethritis is more common among people who are at a risk of sexually transmitted infections. Such people include:
A number of other infections can cause NGU involving bacteria that usually live harmlessly in the throat, mouth or rectum. These bacteria if get into the urethra can cause NGU such as during oral or anal sex. Infections that can cause NGU include:
It is an infection that is caused by a tiny parasite.
It is caused by a pathogenic bacterium that lives on the ciliated epithelial cells of the urinary and genital tracts in humans.
It is an infection in any part of the urinary system, the kidneys, bladder or urethra.
This is responsible for most cold sores and genital herpes.
This usually causes a sore throat or an eye infection.
Non-gonococcal urethritis can be caused by non-infectious causes when something else leads to the urethra becoming inflamed. Non-infectious causes of NGU include:
In order to diagnose non-gonococcal urethritis, two tests can be done. Both tests are carried out to ensure the diagnosis is correct. The tests are:
This test is conducted using a swab. A swab is like a small cotton bud which has a plastic loop at the end. With the help of swab, a sample of fluid is taken from your urethra. This test is not painful but the patient may feel a little uncomfortable for a few seconds.
A sample of patient’s urine is taken and is tested for the infection. This test provides more reliable results. The patient is asked not to urinate for at least one hour before providing a urine sample.
There are various steps in the treatment of non-gonococcal urethritis. Each step is to be followed with proper care and attention to prevent the infection coming back.
Antibiotics may be prescribed to the patient even before he receives his test results. Most commonly prescribed antibiotic tablets or capsules are:
Some of the alternative antibiotics that can be given are:
For recurrent and persistent urethritis, following antibiotics are prescribed:
Some of the side effects of antibiotics include feeling sick, vomiting and diarrhea.
Non-gonococcal urethritis can be prevented by following certain things which are given below:
For men, complications may include:
For women, complications are:
Serious complications can also occur though they are rare. These may include, such as:
Reactive arthritis: The immune system attacks healthy tissues. This leads to joint pain and conjunctivitis.
Epididymo-orchitis : Inflammation inside the testicles