Nongonococcal urethritis

Nongonococcal Urethritis: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is an infection of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. It is one of the most common types of urethritis and is caused by bacteria, viruses, or even irritation from spermicides.

Symptoms of Nongonococcal Urethritis

Symptoms of NGU can vary depending on the cause of the infection. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • An unusual or increased amount of clear discharge from the urethra
  • Burning, itching, and irritation during urination
  • Pain or tenderness when the penis is touched
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain in the testicles

Causes of Nongonococcal Urethritis

NGU is commonly caused by bacteria such as Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Chlamydia trachomatis. Less common causes include viruses such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) and adenoviruses. NGU can also be caused by irritation or inflammation from spermicides or douches.

Diagnosis of Nongonococcal Urethritis

To diagnose NGU, your doctor will study your medical history first. They will then do a physical exam where they check your genitals and take a sample from your urethra for testing. This test will look for the presence of bacteria or viruses that may be causing your infection. Your doctor may also order additional tests such as a urine analysis and a complete blood count (CBC). Once your doctor determines the cause of your infection, they will be able to recommend the proper treatment.

Treatment of Nongonococcal Urethritis

Treatment of NGU will depend on the underlying cause. If the infection is caused by bacteria, you may be prescribed antibiotics such as doxycycline, azithromycin, or erythromycin. If the infection is caused by a virus, antiviral medications may be used. If the infection is caused by irritation or inflammation, your doctor may recommend avoiding irritants such as spermicides or douches.

In addition to taking medications, there are some other steps you can take to speed up your recovery. Avoiding sexual contact can help to prevent the spread of the infection. Drinking plenty of fluids, and eating foods that promote healing, such as yogurt and cranberry juice, can also help.