Nongonococcal Urethritis Symptoms
The urethra is the tube and opening from which urine passes from the body. In men, the urethral opening is on the end of the penis and runs up the shaft to the bladder. In women the opening is in the vagina well above the vaginal opening, in between the labia (outer folds). When a person urinates, urine is passed out the urethral opening.
Urethritis is an infection of the urethra and occur in men or women of all ages and cultural background. Nongonococcal urethritis symptoms are caused by any organism that is not gonorrhea. There are several organisms that can cause nongonococcal urethritis, but is predominantly caused by Chlamydia. When transmitted by Chlamydia, nongonococcal urethritis is a sexually transmitted disease. The infections are quite contagious and easily spread from partner to partner, making nongonococcal urethritis symptoms one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases.
Risk Factors for Nongonococcal Urethritis Symptoms
Certain populations have a higher incidence of nongonococcal urethritis symptoms. High risk populations include:
- Men – Men are more susceptible to infection due to the location of the urethra. Since the urethra is on the penis, transmission to the urethra during sex is more likely to occur. Women are usually infected with Chlamydia in the vaginal opening (not the urethra). A women’s urethra does not always make contact with the male’s penis during sexual intercourse.
- The 15-30 year old age group – This age group is more likely to not be in a monogamous (one partner) relationship.
- Those who have multiple sex partners.
- Those who do not use condoms during sex.
- Drug Addicts – This population is much more likely to have poor hygiene, engage in risky sexual behavior or trade sex for drugs. Drug Addicts are less likely to get treatment for nongonococcal urethritis symptoms, making spread of the disease among this population more likely.
Nongonococcal urethritis symptoms include:
1. Burning when you urinate
2. Discharge from the urethra.
3. Itching, red irritation or pain at the end of the penis.
Treatment for nongonococcal urethritis is extremely important to avoid spreading the disease to others and preventing other problems associated with not getting treatment. If left untreated, nongonococcal urethritis symptoms can lead to:
- Inflammation of the testicles that can cause extreme pain and may lead to testicular cancer.
- Pelvic infections or pelvic inflammatory disease (chronic pelvic infections) (women only).
- Prostate infection (men only)
- The infectious agent can be spread from the hands to the eyes and cause an infection of the eyes.
- Serious infections to a newborn infant can occur when a woman with nongonococcal urethritis symptoms does not receive treatment prior to giving birth.
Routine treatment of nongonococcal urethritis symptoms is oral antibiotics. When treated promptly and properly, the infection usually clears up within a few weeks without further complication. You should refrain from sexual intercourse during treatment and inform any sexual partners you have had that they need to be treated as well. If your sexual partner(s) is not treated, you are likely to contract nongonococcal urethritis symptoms again.
You should take steps to protect yourself from nongonococcal urethritis symptoms by limiting sexual partners, use a condom during sex, get tested for sexual transmitted disease and seek prompt treatment for any nongonococcal urethritis symptoms (or any other STD’s).