Non-Gonococcal Urethritis Non-Gonococcal Urethritis
The Free Medical Dictionary
Definition Any inflammation of the urethra not due to gonorrhea, almost always contracted through sexual intercourse and found far more often in men. Description Men between the ages of 15 and 30 who have multiple sex partners are most at risk for nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), which is believed to be the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Causes and symptoms NGU is spread almost exclusively via sexual contact, and appears most often in men because a woman’s urethra is less easily infected during sex. The infection is most often due to Chlamydia trachomatis, the organism that causes chlamydia. Those that aren’t caused by Chlamydia trachomatis are usually due to another bacterium, Ureaplasma urealyticum. In 10% to 20% of NGU cases, the cause is unknown. Symptoms appear within one to five weeks after infection, and include a slight clear discharge (the color of the discharge can vary from one patient to the next), and itching or burning during or after urination. However, some men never develop symptoms, and women almost never show signs of infection. However, it’s possible that symptoms of burning or itching in or around the vagina may be due to NGU. The disease is communicable from the time of first infection until the patient is cured. Past infection doesn’t make a person immune. Diagnosis Nongonococcal urethritis is diagnosed by excluding other causes, since inflammation that is not caused by gonorrhea is classified as NGU. A microscopic and/or culture test of the discharge or urine can reveal the infection. Since many people are infected with both NGU and syphilis at the same time, infected patients also should have a test for syphilis before treatment for NGU begins, and three months after treatment ends. Treatment Antibiotics such as tetracycline or azithromycin will cure NGU; both sexual partners should be treated at the same time.