Non-Specific Urethritis and Chlamydia
While NSU is often a consequence of injury to the urethra, or exposure to irritant chemicals like certain soaps, the condition is also caused by a range of different infectious agents, the most prominent of which is chlamydia. This particular sexually transmitted infection is thought to account for as many as 50% of cases of male NSU and 40% of female incidences. In this article we look specifically at NSU caused by chlamydia, its effects, complications, and treatments.
Chlamydia and the resulting NSU
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection which is sexually transmitted. The causative bacteria is known as Chlamydia trachomatis, and is responsible for one of the most widely spread sexually transmitted infections in the world today.
Chlamydia is an STI which can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex as the bacteria can survive in any of these environments. Because the urethra, a tube responsible for the transport of urine out of the body and housed within the genitals, is one of the first tissues exposed to infectious agents during sexual encounters, and as such is often exposed to pathogens like the bacteria responsible for chlamydia. The result is the inflammatory response triggered by the presence of an infection, and the subsequent urethritis.
While chlamydia and its non-specific urethritis are quite often asymptomatic, the signs of the condition are usually the typical symptoms of urethritis. These will typically involve a milky discharge from the end of the penis, a burning feeling while passing urine, and pain at the end of the penis. Men will experience the symptoms of NSU and chlamydia more often than females suffering from the condition.
As with all sexually transmitted infections, an infected urethra, even if asymptomatic as in many cases of chlamydia, can readily pass the bacteria on to other sexual partners. This is one of the reasons why it is so important that the cause of non-specific urethritis be determined quickly. Where an STI like chlamydia is responsible for the condition, it is important that sexual activity is restricted and former and current partners are informed about the chance that they are infected.
If left untreated, the chlamydia infection causing NSU can have a number of unpleasant complications. The bacteria can make their way up the urethra and into the reproductive tract, where the further infection of important organs can have a serious impact on fertility. Women are susceptible to a complication known as pelvic inflammatory disease, while men can experience epididymo-orchitis. Because of the severity of these conditions and their potentially life changing effect on fertility, it is important that you pursue testing and treatment as soon as you experience the signs and symptoms of chlamydia.
The condition can actually be passed on to new born babies as they pass through the birth canal and come into contact with the bacteria, causing a very serious condition which can potentially lead to a number of life changing illnesses. This is why treatment for chlamydia is important for pregnant women diagnosed with the condition, and why testing for the condition is included in the battery of investigations performed during the early stages of pregnancy.
Treating chlamydia is relatively straightforward and will clear up any associated urethritis. As a bacterial infection, chlamydia is effectively remedied with antibiotic treatments. Antibiotics are anti-bacterial agents which work to clear the body of harmful bacteria. These drugs are often offered as a course of treatments, and it is important that you listen to and follow your doctor’s instructions on dosing. Even if your symptoms clear up, you should continue to take these medications as instructed to ensure that your system is completely cleared of the infection. If you don’t, you risk a recurring infection and passing the condition on to future sexual partners.
NON-SPECIFIC URETHRITIS (NSU) INFORMATION
- Treatment for Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU)
- Symptoms of Non-Specific Urethritis
- Causes of Non-Specific Urethritis
- Prognosis of Non-Specific Urethritis
- Diagnosing Non-Specific Urethritis
- Non-Specific Urethritis in Women
- Complications of Non-Specific Urethritis
- Managing the Symptoms of Non-Specific Urethritis
- Gonococcal and Non-Specific Urethritis
- Catheters and Non-Specific Urethritis
- Non-Specific Urethritis and Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Viral Non-Specific Urethritis
- Further Information
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