Nongonococcal Urethritis

Nongonococcal Urethritis

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Abbreviation: NGU.

NGU is a very common STD disease. It is inflammation of the male urethra (urine passage). Several types of germs cause NGU, the most common and serious is chlamydia. Chlamydia is very common in both males and females. The diagnosis of NGU is more commonly made in males than in females, mainly due to the anatomical differences. Germs that can cause NGU include but are not limited to:

    Chlamydia trachomatis (most common).

  • Ureaplasma urealyticum.

  • Trichomonas vaginalis (rare).

  • Herpes simplex virus (rare).

  • Haemophilus vaginalis.

  • Mycoplasma genitalium.


    Sexually: Most germs that cause NGU can be passed during sex (vaginal, anal or oral) that involves direct mucous membrane contact with an infected person.

  • Nonsexual: These causes of NGU may include: urinary tract infections, an inflamed prostate gland due to bacteria (bacterial prostatitis), a narrowing or closing of the tube in the penis (urethral stricture), a tightening of the foreskin so that it cannot be pulled back from the head of the penis (phimosa), the result of a process such as inserting a tube into the penis (catheterization),

  • Perinatal: During birth, infants may be exposed to the germs causing NGU in passage through the birth canal. This may cause the baby to have infections in the eyes (conjunctivitis), ears, and lungs (pneumonia).


It usually takes one to three weeks after the infection occurs before a man develops any symptoms of NGU. The first symptom is usually a leakage of milky fluid (discharge) from the tip of the penis. The amount of discharge may vary from a little to quite a lot. There also may be mild burning of the penis during urination. If the symptoms are ignored, the discharge may decrease although the infection is still present. Sometimes there are no symptoms. If left untreated, the infection may move up around the testicles, causing pain, swelling and sterility. The infection also may spread to other parts of the body, causing severe illness.


The diagnosis of NGU must be confirmed by demonstrating PMNLs (polymorphonuclear leukocytes) in the anterior urethra.


The main treatments for NGU are the antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline. Alternative antibiotics are erythromycin and ofloxacin. A woman who is pregnant, or thinks she might be, should tell her doctor. This will ensure that a medicine will be used that will not harm the baby. Take all medications, even if you start to feel better before you finish the bottle. Inform all partners. Abstain from sex until all partners are treated. Return for evaluation by a health care provider if symptoms persist or if symptoms recur after taking all the prescribed medicine.

Preventive Measures:

There are a number of ways to prevent the spread of NGU:

    Limit your number of sex partners.

  • Use a condom.

  • Carefully wash genitals after sexual relations.

  • If you think you are infected, avoid any sexual contact and visit your local STD clinic, a hospital or your doctor.

  • Notify all sexual contacts immediately so they can obtain examination and treatment.

NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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