Non-specific urethritis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection which is commonly spread by chlamydia. It primarily affects men, although women can also develop the infection, which can be caused by damage to the urethra through vigorous sexual intercourse. It is called 'non-specific' because the direct cause is not known. Non-specific urethritis causes an inflammation of the urethra that, if left untreated, can lead to an inflammation of the testicles and eventually infertility.
Non-specific urethritis can be easily treated with a dose of antibiotics, usually Azithromycin and Doxycycline, which can be prescribed for you online by a registered doctor after you take an online consultation. If our doctors consider the treatment suitable for you, our licensed pharmacy can dispatch your antibiotics using our free next day delivery service.
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Non-specific urethritis does not always show visible symptoms, and they can sometimes be so mild that they are often overlooked.
Men who have non-specific urethritis may experience a burning sensation during urination. The tip of your penis may appear red, raw and sore. White cloudy discharge may also emanate from your penis and you may urinate more frequently. However, symptoms are not always visible and can be milder than other infections.
Women often show no noticeable symptoms of non-specific urethritis, until the infection reaches the urethra, womb and fallopian tubes. If this occurs, you may experience pain and discomfort and should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
During unprotected sex, organisms which cause inflammation can pass into your urethra and lead to a diagnosis of non-specific urethritis. In almost 50% of studies, chlamydia was identified as the underlying cause of the infection. Other organisms that are responsible include the human papilloma virus, which causes genital warts; the herpes simplex virus, which causes genital herpes; and trichomonas vaginalis, a protozoan that causes trichomoniasis.
Non-specific urethritis is usually the result of vaginal, oral or anal sex with a partner who has a sexually transmitted infection. It is sometimes referred to as non-gonococcal urethritis and its side effects include inflammation, pain, redness and a swelling of the urethra. It is called 'non specific' because a number of infections may later be identified as being responsible for the symptoms after testing.
Non-specific urethritis is one of the most common reasons why men visit their local genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic. 46,000 cases of non-specific urethritis were reported in the UK alone in 2004, as a result of chlamydia.
If you are displaying any of the symptoms caused by non-specific urethritis, then you should visit your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or sexual health clinic. These tests usually involve either a swab or a urine sample and will be used to detect any bacteria. It is also advised that you get tested for gonorrhoea and chlamydia at the same time as these two STI's have been known to cause non-specific urethritis.
If left untreated, non-specific urethritis can lead to serious pelvic inflammatory disease in women. In addition, women may experience other health problems including irregular vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, vomiting, vaginal bleeding between periods and feverish symptoms. This infection can also cause thinning and a permanent blockage of the fallopian tubes, and in some instances, ectopic pregnancy. Untreated non-specific urethritis can also reduce fertility levels and cause infections of the testicles for men, and in the cervix for women.
"NSU is an infection that can often spread alongside infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. The direct cause is not known, but it can be dangerous if left untreated."Dr Hilary Jones
HealthExpress Medical Advisor
You can choose either a course of Azithromycin or Doxycycline to successfully treat this infection. Azithromycin should be taken in a single daily treatment of 500mg x 2 dose. The infection may take up to a week to be fully treated. Doxycycline must be taken twice a day for seven days. Both dosages are effective in treating non-specific urethritis. You should always take the full course of antibiotics, even if your symptoms of non-specific urethritis disappear before you finish the course.
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