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Nonspecific Urethritis in Men

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What is nonspecific urethritis?

Nonspecific urethritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube where urine passes from the bladder to the outside of the body. Men who have sex with men and those with multiple sexual partners are at a high risk of having this condition.

Male Reproductive System

What causes nonspecific urethritis?

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, mycoplasma, or trichomonas
  • Bath soap, spermicides, or vaginal chemicals from your sexual partner
  • Trauma from objects or accidents
  • Medical conditions, such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome

What are the signs and symptoms of nonspecific urethritis?

  • Feeling like you need to urinate more often than usual
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain or a burning feeling when you urinate
  • Pain or itchiness in your penis
  • Pain when you have sex
  • Thin and slightly cloudy, or thick yellow-green discharge from your penis

How is nonspecific urethritis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask you about medical conditions you have had. He or she may ask questions about your sexual partners and practices. If your provider sees from your sexual history that you are at risk, you may need to be screened for infection from sexually transmitted infections STIs, such as chlamydia. You may need any of the following tests:

  • Blood tests: These may be done to check for STIs.
  • Urine tests: Urine may be checked to see if white blood cells or germs are in it.
  • Urethral fluid tests: A sample of fluid is collected from inside the urethra. This fluid is then checked for white blood cells and germs.

How is nonspecific urethritis treated?

Antibiotic medicines may be given to help treat an infection caused by bacteria. Both you and your sexual partner must be treated to prevent an infection from spreading. If you have other sexual partners within the past 60 days, they should be tested and treated. Nonspecific urethritis caused by irritation or injury may be treated with antibiotic medicine.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I manage my symptoms?

  • Heat: Sit in a warm bath for 15 minutes at least 2 times a day.
  • Do not use chemical irritants: This includes bath soaps, spermicides, or other products that may cause irritation.

How can nonspecific urethritis be prevented?

If your urethritis was caused by an infection, the following may help to prevent the spread:

  • Use condoms: Wear a condom during oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Ask for more information about the correct way to use condoms.
  • Do not have sex with someone who has urethritis: This includes oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
  • Do not have sex during treatment: Do not have sex while you or your partners are being treated. Ask when it is safe to have sex.
  • Report pregnancy: Tell your provider if your female partner is pregnant. You may have spread an infection to her, and she may pass it to her infant during birth.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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