Prevention of Non-Specific Urethritis
In modern medicine it is widely believed that preventing the onset of a condition in the first place is much preferred to having to treat an existing condition. This philosophy has been adopted for a number of reasons, including the reduced risk to the health of an individual caused by diseases which may trigger complications and the like and the fact that preventative measures save huge amounts of money for the National Health Service.
Because non-specific urethritis is so closely associated to sexually transmitted infections, the prevention of this particular condition is extremely important. STIs have become a growing concern here in the UK, and in this article we look at how you can prevent both the infectious and non-infectious cases of non-specific urethritis.
Preventing non-infectious NSU
Non-specific urethritis can be caused by mechanical injury to the urethra or exposure to chemicals and other substances which can trigger an inflammatory response.
Injury to the urethra is often attributed to either sexual intercourse or the application of a urinary catheter, a medical device designed to address issues of urinary incontinence or difficulties in mobility and urination. The catheter involves the insertion of a lubricated tube into the urethra, and while in most cases it is applied without incident, there can be times when this process can cause trauma to the urethra. The risks of NSU through catheterisation is increased through regular catheterisation and where a person is applying the catheter themselves as opposed to having the device placed by a trained professional.
To prevent injury through catheter insertion, care must be taken when applying the device yourself. Ensure that it is fully lubricated, and that you follow all the necessary instructions carefully. You should also keep the catheter as a whole clean and infection free by wiping or washing with antibacterial agents as recommended by the manufacturer or a healthcare professional. This reduces the risk of infection and NSU by ensuring that bacteria don’t get a chance to grow on the device.
Some cases of urethritis can be caused by inadvertently exposing the urethra to chemical irritants. In most cases, these will be soaps, creams, lotions, or lubricants which, either mistakenly or intentionally, make their way into the urethra and trigger the immune response that leads to the painful inflammation of the urethra. Many of these materials are not designed to be exposed to the sensitive tissue of the urethra, and as such there can often be adverse reactions if you apply a substance which is not specifically designed for the genitals to that particular area.
The best way to prevent urethritis caused by chemical exposure is to avoid the application of any material or substance not designed for use on or around the genitals to that particular area.
Preventing infectious NSU
The vast majority of cases of NSU are thought to be a consequence of sexually transmitted infections. This is because the urethra is one of the first structures exposed to infectious agents during unprotected sexual contact, which means that this important biological tube will suffer the inflammation caused by infection.
Infectious causes of NSU include chlamydia, herpes, and Trichomonas Vaginalis, and all of these pathogens can be avoided if you follow simple preventative measures as advised by the NHS. These measures also have the added bonus of limiting the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
The first recommendation, which may not be applicable to everyone, is to keep your number of sexual partners relatively low. The more frequently you have sexual intercourse with different partners, the higher the likelihood of the transmission of NSU or an associated STI. If you are having frequent intercourse with multiple partners then you must use a barrier method of contraception to prevent infection.
Barrier methods are advised where multiple partners are involved as they prevent direct contact with bodily fluids which may be harbouring infectious agents. Classic barrier methods include the condom and diaphragm, and these methods are one of the most effective ways of preventing unwanted infections.
Sharing sex toys and equipment will also bring you into direct contact with potentially infected bodily fluids. You should avoid sharing such equipment, and if you do so then you must ensure that they have been adequately cleaned between each use or have a condom covering them.
If you are in a long term relationship then it is recommended that you have regular checks for potential infections. Sexually active partners should have a test about once a year, but you should always consult an expert if you discover any worrying symptoms or are engaging in unprotected sex.
Ultimately prevention can not only spare you the pain and discomfort of NSU, a condition which, when symptomatic, can make urination extremely painful, it can also prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases which can lead to long lasting consequences. The spread of STIs in particular is a major concern in the UK, and the preventative measures reported in this article will not only protect you from urethritis, but spare you the discomfort and unpleasantness of a sexually transmitted infections and having to inform previous sexual partners that they too might be infected.
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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