Home > Health Issues > STIs > Non-specific urethritis (NSU)

Womens Health Only
Mens Health Issues Color blindness Color blindness Mens Health Issues Obesity Obesity Mens Health Issues Difficulty ejaculating Difficulty ejaculating Mens Health Issues Premature ejaculation Premature ejaculation
Mens Health Issues Flakey scalp Flakey scalp Mens Health Issues Peyronie's disease Peyronie's disease Mens Health Issues Hair loss Hair loss Mens Health Issues Prostate cancer Prostate cancer
Mens Health Issues Halitosis Halitosis Mens Health Issues Prostatism Prostatism Mens Health Issues Hernia Hernia Mens Health Issues Psoriasis Psoriasis
Mens Health Issues Impotence Impotence Mens Health Issues Snoring Snoring Mens Health Issues Male menopause Male menopause Mens Health Issues STIs STIs
Mens Health Issues Migraine Migraine Mens Health Issues Testicular cancer Testicular cancer Mens Health Issues Male thrush Male thrush  

STIs : Non-specific urethritis (NSU)

Chlamydia Thrush Genital herpes Non-specific urethritis (NSU)
Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) Genital warts Pubic lice Gonorrhoea
Scabies HIV and AIDS Syphilis  

What is it and how is it passed on?
Non-specific urethritis (NSU) is an inflammation of the urethra (the tube where urine comes out) that affects men only. It may also be called non-gonococcal urethritis.

It is usually caused by vaginal, oral or anal sex with a partner who already has a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It's called 'non-specific' as a variety of infections can cause it.

Other causes include:
  • other genital or urinary tract infections
  • damage to the delicate urethra through vigorous sex or masturbation
  • a urine or bladder infection, although this is rare in young men
You can't catch NSU from kissing, hugging, sharing baths, towels, cups, plates or cutlery, or from toilet seats or swimming pools.

Signs and symptoms
NSU has three main symptoms:
  • white/cloudy discharge from the tip of the penis, which is often more obvious first thing in the morning
  • pain, irritation or a burning sensation when passing urine
  • wanting to pass urine often
Testing and treatment
Tests for NSU shouldn't be painful, although they may be uncomfortable. They may include:
  • genital examination by a doctor or nurse
  • taking swabs from the penis or urethra
  • taking a urine sample
It's important not to pass urine for at least four hours - and sometimes overnight - before a urine sample of swab is taken. Your doctor will advise you about this.

NSU is easily treated with antibiotics, although damage to the urethra can take time to heal. Vaginal, oral and anal sex should be avoided until the treatment is completed and the infection has cleared up. To avoid re-infection, any sexual partners should also be treated.

After treatments, a check-up is usually required to ensure the infection has cleared up. Sometimes, a second course of antibiotics is needed.

Cutting down on alcohol during treatment may be helpful as it can irritate the urethra.

What happens if it isn't treated?
If left untreated, NSU can sometimes cause serious health problems, including:
  • inflammation of the testicles, leading to reduced fertility
  • occasionally, Reiter's syndrome - inflammation of the joints, urethra and eyes
Where to go for help and advice
You can talk to your GP or go to a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. Such clinics diagnose and treat all STIs for free. They're completely confidential and your GP won't be informed without your consent. You can go to any clinic in the country for advice or treatment.

How to avoid STIs
    1. Before you have sex, talk to your partner about how to protect yourselves.
    2. A male or female condom can provide protection from most STIs if used correctly every time you have sex.
    3. Become familiar with how to use condoms and have a supply ready.
    4. Seek advice straight away if you think you've been at risk.


      All content within MensHealthOnly.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. MensHealthOnly.com is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of MensHealthOnly.com website.