If you are diagnosed with a NSU it basically means that you have symptoms of urethritis or have no symptoms but a test indicates that you should receive treatment, despite testing negative for gonorrheoa or chlamydia.
Other less common causes of non specific urethritis are:
- Mycoplasma Genitalium
- Trichomonas Vaginalis
- Ureaplasma Urealyticum
- Or even normal bacteria
It is important to clarify that there are also non infectious reasons for developing urethritis irritations, which can range from:
- Irritation caused by foreign bodies in the urethra
- Reactions to soap
- Or even lube
The same organisms that cause urethritis in men can potentially cause diseases in females such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and therefore partners need to be treated.
Urethritis describes an inflammation of the urethra (the pipe that carries your urine) and can be caused by several different factors of which infection is just one. It can be a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If sexually acquired it can be described as either gonococcal, when gonorrhoeae is detected in the urine, or non gonococcal (NGU) when it isn’t.
Symptoms of Non Specific Urethritis
- Can have no symptoms (asymptomatic)
- Urethral discharge
- Pain during or after urination (Dysuria)
- Penile irritation
Diagnosis of NSU
Diagnosis is made by history, examination and a urine test. Ideally you should not have emptied your bladder for a minimum of two hours before your test. The results are available in 24-48 hours. In some cases if there is a clear discharge, we would also need to take a swab but this doesn’t apply in patients with no symptoms coming for routine screening, so don’t let that put you off being tested.
Treatment of NSU
Requires a one off antibiotic treatment. If you present with symptoms of a non specific urethritis guidelines recommend immediate treatment without waiting for results. Partner testing and or treatment is needed. During treatment and for at least a week after, it is best to abstain from sexual activity completely, but if that is not possible condoms should be used.
In men with recurrent symptoms of non specific urethritis, or in cases where the symptoms do not subside after treatment, it is recommended to have further screening for the less common causes of NSU such as M. Genitalium, Trichomonas Vaginalis, and Ureaplasma Urealyticum.
These extra tests can be done at the same time as the initial screen or later, at an additional cost.