nongonococcal urethritis

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Related to nongonococcal urethritis: chlamydia

Nongonococcal Urethritis



Any inflammation of the urethra not due to gonorrhea, almost always contracted through sexual intercourse and found far more often in men.


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.


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.


Antibiotics such as tetracycline or azithromycin will cure NGU; both sexual partners should be treated at the same time.
Patients taking tetracycline should avoid milk or milk products and take the medication at least one hour before or two hours after meals. On the last day of treatment, a male should have a urine test to make sure the infection has cleared. If it hasn't, he should take a second course of therapy. Men should use a condom during treatment and for several months after treatment is completed.
If urine tests indicate the infection is gone but symptoms persist, the doctor will check for signs of prostate inflammation.

Key terms

Chlamydia — One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. It causes discharge, inflammation and burning during urination. About half of the cases of nongonococcal urethritis are due to chlamydia.
Gonorrhea — A sexually transmitted disease that affects the genital mucous membranes of men and women.
Urethra — The tube that carries urine from the bladder through the outside of the body.


NGU is completely curable with proper antibiotic treatment. Untreated, NGU can lead to sterility in both men and women, inflammation of the mouth of the uterus, and infections of the woman's internal sexual organs. An infection during pregnancy may lead to pneumonia or eye infections in the newborn child. Untreated men may develop swelling of the testicles and an infected prostate gland.


People can prevent the spread of NGU by:
  • using a condom
  • limiting the number of sex partners
  • washing the genital area after sex
  • if infected, avoid sexual contact; take antibiotics, notify all partners



American Social Health Association. P.O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. (800) 227-8922.


Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hotline. (800) 227-8922.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


inflammation of the urethra, often a symptom of gonorrhea(gonococcal urethritis) but sometimes caused by another infectious organism. The urethra swells and narrows and the flow of urine is impeded; both urination and the urgency to urinate increase and there is burning pain, sometimes with a purulent discharge, on urination. It usually responds to treatment with antibiotics or sulfonamides.
nongonococcal urethritis (nonspecific urethritis) a sexually transmitted inflammation of the urethra caused by any of various organisms other than gonococci.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

non·gon·o·coc·cal u·re·thri·tis

urethritis not resulting from gonococcal infection; venereally transmitted Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common causative agent.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

nongonococcal urethritis

n. Abbr. NGU
An inflammation of the urethra similar to that of gonorrhea but caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and occurring mostly among males as an early symptom of chlamydia.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hamasuna, "Azithromycin treatment failure in Mycoplasma genitalium-positive patients with nongonococcal urethritis is associated with induced macrolide resistance," Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol.
genitalium, from the urogenital tract of men with nongonococcal urethritis. M.
Jensen, specifically referring to the common practice of treating nongonococcal urethritis with a single dose of azithromycin.
All patients attending MSHC who have symptoms of nongonococcal urethritis or proctitis are tested for M.
Out of total 178 STI patients, the commonest STI were balanoposthitis (36.5%, n= 65) followed by genital scabies (17.4%, n=31), genital herpes (10.7%, n= 19), venereal warts (8.4%, n= 15), nongonococcal urethritis (7.9%, n= 14) and chancroid (6.7%, n= 12).
Current first-line therapy for nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other major groups, features a choice: a single 1-g dose of azithromycin, or doxycycline at 100 mg b.i.d.
Association of genital mycoplasmas including Mycoplasma genitalium in HIV infected men with nongonococcal urethritis attending STD and HIV clinics.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recommends fluoroquinolones as first-line treatment for children with uncomplicated gonorrhea who weigh more than 45 kg, (6) and second-line therapy for children with bacterial meningitis, (7) nongonococcal urethritis, chlamydia, (6) or pelvic inflammatory disease.
The survey also addressed overall gonorrhea and other STD (i.e., nongonococcal urethritis [NGU]) trends and factors that could be associated with GC trends in MSM (i.e., changes in clinic practices, geographic clustering of cases, sexual risk behaviors, illicit drug use, and HIV serostatus).
Nongonococcal urethritis, the most common sexually transmitted disease in men, is an inflammation of the urethra caused by anything but Gonococcus bacteria.
Out of total 9 MSM with urethral discharge, 5 were identified to have gonococcal urethritis and 4 were having nongonococcal urethritis.