January 19th, 2017
Urethritis (or in other words inflammation of urethra) is one of the most common sources of infection in adult men and women. It has been observed that most cases of urethritis in adults are caused by gonorrhea.
Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is the urethral infection that is caused by pathogens other than gonorrhea.
Besides gonorrhea, other common sources of nongonococcal urethritis are:
Among these pathogens, the most common causative microorganism is Chlamydia whereas HVS and Trichomonas vaginalis rarely induce NGU.
Nongonococcal urethritis can be transmitted sexually as well as via non-sexual contact.
Infection can spread through all forms of sexual contact whether it is anal, vaginal, or oral. The infectious agents may even spread if penis or tongue is not fully penetrated into the body cavities. A direct contact of infected person with the mucus membrane of healthy individual is enough for the transmission of infection.
The non-sexual ways of transmission are:
These pathogens may also transmit from mother to child during birth while passing through the infected birth canal. This perinatal exposure may cause conjunctivitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.
NGU exhibits different symptoms in both men and women due to difference in anatomical characteristics.
In men nongonococcal urethritis may cause:
In women, the same microbes that causes NGU in men may cause other infections including, mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC) or vaginitis. Some women may not exhibit any symptoms at all. However, possible symptoms include:
The oral infections are usually asymptomatic but some might experience sore throat. While anal infections are characterized by itching in rectum or painful excretion.
In men, nongonococcal urethritis is diagnosed when person complaints of urethritis symptoms but culture results are negative for gonorrhea. Other diagnostic tests include urine screening and culture test for chlamydia which are rarely done. While in women culture test for chlamydia is performed for the diagnosis. To exclude doubt for gonorrhea, culture test for gonorrhea should also be performed.
NGU, especially if caused by Chlamydia can lead to numerous complications, if left untreated. The complications are different for men and women but infection due to anal sex may cause severe proctitis in both.
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