Nongonococcal urethritis

Formerly known as nonspecific urethritis, inflammation of the urethra due to a cause other than gonorrhoea. Worldwide, nongonococcal urethritis is a very common type of sexually transmitted infection. Almost 50 per cent of cases are known to be caused by chlamydia trachomatis (see chlamydial infections); others are caused by the virus that causes herpes simplex, trichomonas vaginalis infections (see trichomoniasis), or other microorganisms. In the remainder of cases, the cause remains unknown. In men, the infection usually causes a clear or a purulent urethral discharge, often accompanied by pain or discomfort on passing urine. The equivalent condition in women, called nonspecific genital infection, may not cause symptoms unless there are complications. Treatment may be difficult if the cause of symptoms cannot be determined. Antibiotic drugs, such as doxycycline and erythromycin, are given. Follow-up visits may be advised after treatment. In men, epididymitis, prostatitis and urethral stricture (narrowing of the urethra) can occur as complications of nongonococcal urethritis. Reiter’s syndrome (in which there is arthritis and conjunctivitis as well as urethritis) occurs as a complication in some men who develop nongonococcal urethritis. In women, pelvic inflammatory disease and cysts of the Bartholin’s glands may occur. Ophthalmia neonatorum, a type of conjunctivitis, sometimes develops in babies born to women with chlamydial cervicitis.


Online Medical Dictionary: Your essential reference to over 5000 medical terms.