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Non-gonococcal urethritis

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Title: Non-gonococcal urethritis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Ureaplasma infection, Urethritis, Urologic disease, NSU, Umbrella term
Collection: Chlamydia Infections, Infectious Diseases, Inflammations, Urethra Disorders
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Non-gonococcal urethritis

Non-gonococcal urethritis
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 N34.1
ICD-9-CM 099.4, 597

Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is an inflammation of the urethra that is not caused by gonorrheal infection.

For treatment purposes, doctors usually classify infectious urethritis in two categories: gonococcal urethritis, caused by gonorrhea, and nongonococcal urethritis (NGU).[1]


  • Causes 1
    • Bacterial 1.1
    • Viral 1.2
    • Parasitic 1.3
    • Noninfectious 1.4
  • Symptoms 2
  • Diagnosis 3
  • Non-specific urethritis 4
  • Treatment 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7


There are many causes of NGU.[2] This is in part due to the large variety of organisms living in the urinary tract. Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma genitalium are some of the culprits.


The most common bacterial cause of NGU is Chlamydia trachomatis, but it can also be caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum, Haemophilus vaginalis, and Mycoplasma genitalium.


Herpes simplex virus (rare), Adenovirus.


Parasitic causes include Trichomonas vaginalis (rare).


Urethritis can be caused by mechanical injury (from a urinary catheter or a cystoscope), or by an irritating chemical (antiseptics or some spermicides).


The symptoms of urethritis can include pain or a burning sensation upon urination (dysuria), a white/cloudy discharge and a feeling that one needs to pass urine frequently. For men, the signs and symptoms are discharge from the penis, burning or pain when urinating, itching, irritation, or tenderness. In women, the signs and symptoms are discharge from vagina, burning or pain when urinating, anal or oral infections, abdominal pain, or abnormal vaginal bleeding, which may be an indication that the infection has progressed to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. However, men are frequently , and women are known to be affected with cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease.[3]


It has been easy to test for the presence of gonorrhea by viewing a gram-negative microbes are present as normal flora of the vagina in women. Thus, one of the major causes of urethritis can be identified (in men) by a simple common test, and the distinction between gonococcal and non-gonococcal urethritis arose for this reason.

Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) is diagnosed if a person with urethritis has no signs of gonorrhea bacteria on laboratory tests. The most frequent cause of NGU (23%-55% of cases) is C. trachomatis.

Non-specific urethritis

In the United Kingdom, NGU is more often called non-specific urethritis;[4][5][6] "non-specific" is a medical term meaning "specific cause has not been identified", and in this case refers to the detection of urethritis, and the testing for but found negative of gonorrhea. In this sense, the most likely cause of NSU is a chlamydia infection.

However, the term NSU is sometimes distinguished and used to mean that both gonorrhea and chlamydia have been ruled out.[7] Thus, depending on the sense, chlamydia can either be the most likely cause or have been ruled out, and frequently detected organisms are Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis.


Treatment is based on the prescription and use of the proper antibiotics depending on the strain of the ureaplasma.[8]

Because of its multi-causative nature, initial treatment strategies involve using a broad range antibiotic that is effective against chlamydia (such as pelvic inflammatory disease. If symptoms persist, follow-up with a urologist may be necessary to identify the cause.

According to a study, tinidazole used with doxycycline or azithromycin may cure NGU better than when doxycycline or azithromycin is used alone. [9]

If left untreated, complications include epididymitis and infertility. Consistent and correct use of latex condoms during sexual activity greatly reduces the likelihood of infection.

See also


  1. ^ Burstein GR, Zenilman JM (January 1999). "Nongonococcal urethritis—a new paradigm". Clin. Infect. Dis. 28 (Suppl 1): S66–73.  
  2. ^ Bradshaw CS, Tabrizi SN, Read TR, et al. (February 2006). "Etiologies of nongonococcal urethritis: bacteria, viruses, and the association with orogenital exposure". J. Infect. Dis. 193 (3): 336–45.  
  3. ^ Draeger, R. W.; Dahners, L. E. (2006). "Traumatic Wound Debridement". Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 20 (2): 83–88.  
  4. ^ Non-specific urethritis, NHS
  5. ^ Non-specific Urethritis (NSU), NHS, Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM)
  6. ^ NSU (non-specific urethritis), BBC
  7. ^ Non-specific urethritis (NSU) and Cervicitis
  8. ^ "Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)". BC HealthFile. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  9. ^ Clinical trial number NCT00322465 for "NGU: Doxycycline (Plus or Minus Tinidazole) Versus Azithromycin (Plus or Minus Tinidazole)" at
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