Symptoms of Non-Specific Urethritis
Non-Specific Urethritis is the inflammation of the tube that carries urine to the outside of the body. The condition has become an issue in the UK as many incidences can be attributed to sexually transmitted infections, many of which have been on the rise in the country. Often abbreviated to NSU, non-specific urethritis can have some unpleasant effects, and in this article we look specifically at the symptoms of the condition.
Signs and symptoms of NSU in men
A diagnosis of non-specific urethritis is given when no specific cause for urethritis can be found and disclosed to the patient. Despite this being the case, we do have an understanding of a number of different injuries and infections which can lead to the condition, and as such despite its vague nature, the disease does have distinctive symptoms.
In men the symptoms of NSU are far more obvious, and in most cases, painful. One of the most prevalent symptoms of NSU is a painful burning sensation during urination which can often be experienced alongside irritation or pain at the tip of the penis. This pain and discomfort is often compounded by an increased frequency of urination, and some men will find a milky white discharge from the end of their penis.
These symptoms can typically begin days, weeks, or even months after the actual infection, and this can be indicative of the cause of the disease. Many cases of NSU are actually due to some kind of injury or exposure to some soaps and creams, and in these instances symptoms develop within a couple of days of the incident responsible. Where an infection is responsible, which is often the case amongst men suffering from NSU, the nature of the infection will determine how long it can be before symptoms arise. It is important to point out that if you have symptoms a few days after sex then it is unlikely the condition is caused by a sexually transmitted infection as these will take much longer to manifest with urethritis. That being said, you should still pursue any necessary STI testing where possible.
If you have had unprotected sexual intercourse with someone who has been diagnosed with an STI and potentially NSU, you should get yourself tested regardless of whether or not you have shown any symptoms. Again, signs of the disease can take much longer to develop, and getting tested can allow you to get any treatment you need before the symptoms of urethritis, which are unpleasant in men, can begin.
Even if your symptoms pass, you should still go to your doctor and try and determine the cause of the condition. In some cases symptoms can come and go, and getting tested and treated can spare you some considerable discomfort.
Signs and symptoms of NSU in women
While most women won’t develop any symptoms of their NSU, the condition is still cause for concern. Left unchecked, the infection responsible for NSU can spread into other parts of the reproductive tract, which include important structures like the womb (uterus). Infections that make their way into the rest of the female track become classified as PID or pelvic inflammatory diseases, and these are serious conditions that can cause chronic pain issues and potentially influence fertility.
PID will typically involve pain around the pelvis and abdomen, some pain or at the very least discomfort during sex, irregular bleeding between periods and after intercourse, in some cases distinctive vaginal discharges and a fever.
The lack of symptoms in the early stages of infection (NSU) can make it difficult to treat the condition before it progresses to cause PIDs, which is why it is important to practice safe sex and avoid one of the causes of urethritis: sexually transmitted infection. If you have had unprotected sex and are worried about developing NSU you should speak to your doctor about potentially getting tested. If you are told that a former or current sexual partner is carrying an STI you should definitely get testing to ensure that you don’t bear the condition or get the treatment you need if you do.
Despite the discomfort of the symptoms of NSU (for men), the condition is very treatable, so if you do think you suffer from non-specific urethritis you should speak to your doctor who will be able to diagnose you and provide you with the antibiotics that can resolve the condition within a couple of weeks.
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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