Non specific Urethritis

Non Specific Urethritis (NSU) occurs only in men and refers to inflammation of the urethra (the tube that you pass urine from).

What is STD?

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease and are also known as STI (sexually transmitted infection). The infections are passed from person to person through sexual contact. If you are worried you may have an STD, are looking for more information, click below

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It is not caused by infection with Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea, it can be caused by infection or irritation from spermicidal creams, soaps and deodorants.

Infective causes include the bacteria, Mycoplasma genitalium and Ureaplasma urealyticum, as well as other organisms such as Trichomonas vaginalis and Candida. Herpes infection can also lead to NSU.


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NSU may cause discharge from the penis or irritation of the penis. Sometimes, there is also discomfort on passing urine or increased need to pass urine. Female contacts usually have no symptoms but potentially are at risk from pelvic inflammatory disease if untreated.

In a male under the age of 35, with urinary symptoms the commonest cause is a sexually transmitted infection. A normal urine culture will often be negative, so specific specialised STD tests are required. Our symptomatic screen include specific  PCR( DNA ) tests covering the common causes and a urethral culture swab to detect evidence of inflammation within the urethra and to rule out gonorrhoea. It is also important to have a culture swab , given the increasing antibiotic resistance of Gonorrhoea infections.

The organism involved can be found by PCR testing on a swab from the tip of the penis or on urine sample.

Current and recent sexual partners (last 12 weeks) should be advised to have testing and provided with empirical antibiotic therapy. You should avoid having sex again (even protected) for a minimum of one week after completing the antibiotic course. If symptoms continue despite treatment, we term this refractory or persistent NSU.

Recommended treatments include:

  • Azithromycin 500 mg day one. Followed by 250mg each day for 4 days in combination with Metronidazole 400mg for 5 days. The aim of this combination is to provide cover for both Mycoplasma Genitalium and Trichomonas Vaginalis.
  • Testicular inflammation and potential impact on fertility
  • Reactive arthritis (which results secondary to the STI infection, causing the immune to act against your bodies joints)
  • Prostatitus (inflammation of the prostate)

Receiving STD results

During your appointment test results and timings will be discussed. All test results are sent to our London based Harley Street laboratory for analysis and results will be sent directly to you once complete. If your results are positive, our specialist team will be in contact and provide NHS referrals if required. We provide treatment nationwide for Chlamydia and in our London flagship clinics we offer treatment for both Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

Receiving results

Sexual health FAQ’s

Are you unsure on the difference between an STD and STI? What happens if I have a positive result? If you are looking for answers to these and other sexual health questions, we have put together a list of FAQ’s for you.

Sexual health FAQ’s

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