Non Specific Urethritis

Urethritits is inflammation of the urethra or water passage which can cause discomfort or pain when you pee.

Sometimes it is called non-specific urethritis (NSU). The condition is known as non-specific urethritis because in some cases the cause is not yet known. It is possible for men and women to have NSU, but it is more difficult to diagnose in women. In about half of men who have symptoms no specific germ/bacteria is found, in the other half of NSU cases, bacteria called Chlamydia cause the infection. Chlamydia can also affect women.


How is it passed on?

It is most commonly passed from one person to another through unprotected vaginal sex, however there is a risk of it being passed on through anal sex.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Some symptoms you may notice are:

  • white or cloudy discharge from the tip of the penis
  • difficulty peeing
  • feeling the need to pee more frequently
  • itching or irritation

How will you know if you have NSU?

One of the main reasons it is as common is that often there are no obvious symptoms. Because signs or symptoms may not show up , people often do not realise they have the infection, or that they need treatment, and that they can pass the infection on to sexual partners unwittingly.

How do you get tested?

Getting tested is simple and involves either a urine sample or a swab to take a sample of cells from the vagina or penis.

What is the treatment?

It can easily be treated with antibiotics.

Is there anything I can do myself?

The best way to prevent all sexually transmitted infections, including NSU  is to practise safer sex. This means using a condom for vaginal or anal sex or a condom or dental dam for oral sex. Reducing the number of partners you have sex with also reduces the risk of being infected.