Infection and Transmission of Non-Specific Urethritis
While the condition can be caused by injury to the urethra or exposure to chemicals which can potentially irritate the structure and cause inflammation, most cases of non-specific urethritis can be attributed to sexually transmitted infections or STIs. In this article we look at how you can get infected with NSU and how the condition is spread.
NSU and its transmission
Infectious causes of NSU are easily transmissible through sexual contact, and this is largely because many of the infectious agents responsible for urethritis are sexually transmitted diseases. These infectious agents, which include viruses and bacteria and can be referred to as pathogens, are often exposed to the urethra during unprotected sexual contact. Both the male and female urethra run through the genitalia, which is why the urethra is so vulnerable to infection by sexual means.
While many people mistakenly assume that vaginal intercourse is the only means by which STIs are transferred, the truth is that any unprotected sexual contact can result in the transmission of infectious agents causing STIs and non-specific urethritis. Many pathogens can reside harmlessly in the oral or anal tract and only cause infection when exposed to the urethra and/or genitals. This is because pathogen activity can often depend on environment and other factors, and when infectious agents like Trichomonas Vaginalis for example find themselves in a new environment they can often cause infectious conditions.
Herpes simplex can be transmitted to the genitals through oral contact with a person with cold sores. The nature of herpes means that a person may be asymptomatic and yet still be able to pass the condition on.
The mechanisms by which NSU is transferred to other people makes certain aspects of treating the condition extremely important. These include the fact that if you are suffering from non-specific urethritis, you should avoid sexual contact until the condition has been resolved and you have received a full course of treatment. This is both to help your urethra heal, but also to prevent any further transmission of the infectious agent causing NSU.
You should continue your course of treatment, typically a regimen of antibiotics, even if your symptoms clear up before the regime ends. For example doxycycline is provided as a seven day course of the drug to be taken twice daily, and this must be completed to ensure that the pathogens causing the infection have been successfully and completely removed from your system. If you stop taking your treatment early, which can happen if symptoms resolve quickly, then you may suffer a relapse and risk transmitting the infection with further sexual contact.
Another important facet of NSU treatment is informing former sexual partners of the infection. The healthcare professional in charge of your treatment will be in charge of ensuring that you get the treatment you need and informing you of your obligation to inform current and previous sexual partners of your condition so that they can seek any necessary testing and treatment. This step can be difficult, but is important as it prevents further transmission of the infection and can prevent some very serious complications of NSU.
Because NSU and its causative STIs like chlamydia can be asymptomatic, it can be difficult to effectively detect and treat the condition. This means that infected peoples can be harbouring the condition without knowing it. When left untreated, NSU and any underlying infection can cause very serious conditions which can potentially cause infertility. These are epididymo-orchitis in men, a condition involving the painful inflammation of the testes and an important structure called the epididymis, which is responsible for storing and transporting sperm. In women NSU can develop to form an inflammatory condition referred to as PID, which can involve an infection of the fallopian tubes, lining of the uterus, and other structures, and affect future pregnancies and as mentioned earlier, fertility.
While sexual transmission isn’t the only means by which non-specific urethritis can develop, it is one of the major causes of the condition, and perhaps the one which is the most serious because of the potential for further infectious complications and widespread transmission. Because of these concerns, it is important that your pursue treatment and diagnosis as advised and recommended by your doctor as soon as you can.
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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