Inflammation of the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to be excreted) due to a cause other than gonorrhea. Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) was previously known as non-specific urethritis (NSU). Worldwide, the condition is a very common type of sexually transmitted infection.
Symptoms generally appear up to five weeks after infection, usually in week two or three. In men, the infection may cause a urethral discharge, which may be accompanied by stinging on passing urine. There may be redness, crusting, and soreness at the urethral opening. However, often no symptoms are present.
Almost half of all cases of nongonococcal urethritis are known to be caused by Chlamydia trachomatis; others may be caused by the virus that causes herpes simplex, the pro tozoan trichomonas, or other microorganisms. In some cases, the cause remains unknown.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis is made from a swab taken from the urethra and a urine sample; both enable identification of the causative organism. Antibiotic drugs, such as doxycycline, are the usual treatment. With treatment, the infection usually clears up in about a week. Follow-up visits may be advised after treatment as the infection can recur. Sexual partners must be tested and treated if necessary in order to prevent reinfection.
In men, epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymitis in the testes), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), and urethral stricture (narrowing of the urethra) can occur as complications of nongonoccal urethritis, Reiter’s syndrome (in which there is arthritis and conjunctives as well as the urethritis) occurs as a complication in some men who develop nongonoccal urethritis. In women, pelvic inflammatory disease and infection in the Bartholin’s glands may occur. Ophthalmia neonatorum, a type of conjunctivitis, sometimes develops in babies born to women who have chlamydial cervicitis at delivery.