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What is it?

Men only get this. It is an inflammation of the tube (urethra) which carries the urine from the bladder to the tip of the penis.

How does it show itself?

Many men notice a discharge coming from the end of the penis with pain, irritation or discomfort on passing urine.

Where does it come from?

It is called `non-specific` because there are a range of different causes.

bulletChlamydia. This is a common cause. It is a germ passed between sexual partners but may take weeks, months or even years in some cases to show up. Most women with it may never know they have it. For both men and women it can cause a lot of damage if it is not treated i.e fertility problems.
bulletOther sexually transmitted infections.
bulletReaction to vaginal infections. Some men develop NSU as a response to a simple infection in their partner who may not even know they have one.
bulletInjury. The urethra is delicate and may be damaged during vigorous sexual activity leading to NSU. Squeezing the penis or using disinfectants etc if worried about having an infection might cause NSU.
bulletUrine/bladder infection. This is quite an unusual cause of NSU in younger men

NSU may be experienced months or even in some cases years into a relationship.

Can it be treated successfully?

Yes, it usually clears up with a simple course of antibiotics (such as deteclo or doxycycline). Because it is usually caused by germs it is important that sexual partners are checked carefully and treated if necessary, otherwise it could easily return.

Damage to the urethra takes a few weeks to heal and therefore it is best to avoid sexual intercourse until regular partners have been treated and the signs have disappeared. This can only be properly established by returning to the clinic. It may be that a second course of antibiotics are needed. Using condoms before you are given the `all clear` will not provide full protection from becoming re-infected. It may be useful to restrict or even cut out alcohol intake during treatment as it can irritate the urethra.

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