Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra, which causes pain, redness and /or swelling of the tube where urine (wee) comes out.

Non-specific urethritis (NSU) means the cause of the inflammation is not yet known.There are many causes, and not all are passed on through having sex.

Men and women can both have NSU although it is more difficult to diagnose in women.

The following information is about NSU in males;

Causes of NSU include;

  • Chlamydia is a common cause of NSU.
  • Genital herpes and trichomonas vaginalis (TV) are less common causes.
  • Other organisms that usually live in the body without causing harm, that can multiply if you are ill or stressed.
  • Bacteria that live in the rectum (bottom) and the mouth and throat can be passed on during sex.
  • Bacteria that cause infection in the kidneys, bladder and urethra can lead to inflammation in the urethra.
  • A vaginal infection such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) may trigger NSU in the man.

NSU can be passed on sexually during unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex as the organisms which cause the inflammation can pass into the urethra.

It can occur in any sexually active man and you do not need to have had lots of sexual partners.

Remember not all cases are caused by a sexually transmitted infection.

You can’t get an NSU from hugging, kissing, sharing towels or toilet seats.