What is it and how do I get it?

NSU, or non-specific urethritis to give it its full name, is an infection of the urethra. NSU is 'non-specific' because it is often impossible to identify exactly what is causing it. Some cases occur spontaneously without any sexual contact, like after a heavy masturbating session when your urethra can become irritated. Mostly, you get it from sex without a condom or, occasionally, you can get it if person with the infection in their mouth or throat gives you oral sex. 

How do I prevent it?

Some cases of NSU are not preventable but most cases can be avoided by using condoms for sex.

How do I know I've got it?

NSU can be present without any symptoms. If they do appear, it is usually one to three weeks after infection. Symptoms can include a sharp pain when peeing or having sex, and a white or green discharge from your genitals, most noticeable when you get up in the morning. The discharge may leave stains on your sheets or underwear. Sometimes the glands in your groin can become inflamed and tender. A sexual health clinic can test you for signs of NSU and it may be diagnosed if you have symptoms but the results from urine tests or swabs cannot confirm the cause.

How do I get it treated?

NSU can be cured by antibiotics from your GP or GUM clinic.

Which sexual partners should I inform if I've been diagnosed with NSU?

If you have symptoms, you should inform anyone you've had sex with up to four weeks before the symptoms started. If you don't have any symptoms, you should inform anyone you've had sex with in the last six months, or your last sexual partner if it was longer than six months. 


LAST UPDATED: 09/01/2017