What is NSU?

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

How does someone get NSU?

There are many different causes. Some, but not all, are passed on through having sex.

If you have non-specific Urethritis there may be more than one cause, and in some men a cause is never identified.

Examples are:

  • Bacterial infections like chlamydia
  • Damage to the urethra (rough sex, vigorous masturbation, etc)
  • Exposure to faecal matter (poo) during anal intercourse
  • General sensitivity / allergic reaction

What are the symptoms?

Not all men who have inflammation will show any signs or symptoms, or they may be so mild they are not noticed.

If signs and symptoms do occur they usually show up within 2–4 weeks of contact with an infection, but they can sometimes appear within a day or two (depending on the cause of the inflammation). If you do get signs and symptoms you might notice:

A white or cloudy discharge from the tip of the penis, usually more noticeable first thing in the morning.

Difficulty, pain or a burning sensation when passing urine.

The feeling that you need to pass urine frequently.

Itching or irritation at the end of the urethra.

Depending on the cause of the inflammation there may also be other symptoms that are specific to particular infections.

Is there a test for NSU?

The tests involves a doctor or nurse using a swab to collect a sample of cells from the entrance of the urethra (tip of the penis). You will also be asked to give a urine sample.

What does treatment involve?

There are several different antibiotics that can be used, either as a single dose or a longer course.

Some men may get non-specific Urethritis more than once, and for a few men it may keep coming back. If this happens, you may be given a second course, or a combination, of antibiotics. Your healthcare provider will explain the treatment to you.