Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) characterized by inflammation of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Unlike gonorrhea, which is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, NGU is not caused by the gonococcus bacteria. Instead, it is typically caused by other bacteria or viruses that are transmitted through sexual contact.

Types of Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (NGU)

Here are some of the common types of NGU:

1. Chlamydia-Associated NGU

2. Ureaplasma-Associated NGU

3. Mycoplasma-Associated NGU

4. Symptoms of NGU

The symptoms of NGU can vary from person to person, but commonly include:

  1. Discharge from the penis: Urethral discharge may be white, cloudy, or watery and can sometimes be accompanied by a foul odor. It occur maximum time at morning.
  2. Pain or burning sensation during urination: Individuals with NGU may experience discomfort or pain when urinating.
  3. Itching or irritation around the genitals: NGU can cause itching or irritation in the genital area, which may be accompanied by redness or swelling.
  4. Redness or Swelling: Inflammation of the urethra, leading to redness and swelling.
  5. Frequent Urination: An increased urge to urinate, often accompanied by a sense of urgency.
  6. Proctitis: Proctitis or Ankylosing-spondilitis may develop
  7. Reiter’s Syndrome: Reiter’s syndrome is a rare but potentially debilitating condition characterized by the triad of arthritis, urethritis, and conjunctivitis.

Causes of NGU

NGU can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Bacterial infections: The most common cause of NGU is infection with bacteria such as Chlamydia trachomatis or Mycoplasma genitalium.
  2. Viral infections: Certain viruses, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), can also cause NGU.
  3. Chemical irritation: Exposure to irritants such as soaps, lotions, or spermicides can irritate the urethra and lead to inflammation.
  4. Non-infectious causes: In some cases, NGU may be caused by non-infectious factors such as trauma or injury to the urethra.

Diagnosis of NGU

Diagnosing NGU typically involves a combination of physical examination and laboratory tests. During the physical exam, the healthcare provider may look for signs of inflammation or discharge from the penis. Laboratory tests, such as urine or swab tests, can be used to identify the presence of bacteria or viruses that may be causing the infection.

Treatment options

It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if symptoms improve, to ensure that the infection is fully eradicated. However, remember that if any of the above symptoms match, take the medicine accoding to the doctor’s advice and complete thae entire course of the antibiotic he will give you.

In addition to antibiotics, home remedies and self-care measures can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. These may include:

  • Avoiding irritants: Avoid using products that may irritate the urethra, such as scented soaps or harsh detergents.
  • Hygiene: Practice good hygiene by washing the genital area regularly with mild soap and water.
  • Avoiding sexual activity: Refrain from sexual activity until the infection has cleared to prevent spreading the infection to partners.

Prevention of NGU

Preventing NGU involves practicing safe sex and taking steps to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious agents. This includes:

  • Using condoms: Consistently and correctly using condoms during sexual activity can greatly reduce the risk of STIs, including NGU.
  • Limiting sexual partners: Limiting the number of sexual partners and choosing partners who have been tested for STIs can help reduce the risk of exposure.
  • Regular STI screenings: Undergoing regular STI screenings can help detect infections early and prevent their spread to others.


If left untreated, NGU can lead to several complications, including:

  • Complications in Men: In men, untreated NGU can progress to epididymitis, which is inflammation of the epididymis—a structure near the testicles that stores and carries sperm. Epididymitis can cause pain, swelling, and potential fertility problems if not promptly treated.
  • Complications in Women: While NGU primarily affects the urethra in both men and women, untreated infections can ascend to the upper reproductive tract in women. This can result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  • Chronic urethritis: Untreated NGU can lead to chronic inflammation of the urethra, which may cause ongoing discomfort and urinary symptoms.
  • Infertility: In some cases, NGU can lead to scarring or damage to the reproductive organs, potentially impacting fertility in both men and women.
  • Recurrent Infections: Untreated NGU increases the risk of recurrent infections, which can become chronic over time.NGU is often caused by bacterial infections, such as Chlamydia trachomatis or Mycoplasma genitalium. If untreated, these infections can spread to other parts of the reproductive system, leading to more severe health issues.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): In women, untreated NGU can lead to PID, a serious infection of the reproductive organs.
  • Increased Risk of STI Transmission: Individuals with NGU may be more susceptible to acquiring or transmitting other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) due to inflammation and compromised mucosal barriers in the genital tract.

Difference Between Gonococcal and Non-Gonococcal Urethritis

Gonococcal urethritis and non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) are both conditions that affect the urethra, but they differ in their causes, symptoms, and treatment approaches. Understanding the distinctions between these two conditions is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective management.

Causative Agents

Gonococcal Urethritis: Gonococcal urethritis is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, commonly known as gonorrhea. This bacterium is highly contagious and is typically transmitted through sexual contact with an infected individual.

Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (NGU): NGU, on the other hand, is caused by bacteria other than Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The most common pathogens responsible for NGU include Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, and Ureaplasma urealyticum. NGU can also be caused by non-bacterial factors, such as viral infections or chemical irritation.


Gonococcal Urethritis: The symptoms of gonococcal urethritis are often similar to those of NGU and may include urethral discharge, pain or burning during urination, and itching or irritation of the genital area. However, gonococcal urethritis may sometimes cause more severe symptoms, such as a thicker or pus-like discharge.

Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (NGU): NGU typically presents with symptoms similar to gonococcal urethritis, including urethral discharge, pain or discomfort during urination, and genital irritation. However, the severity of symptoms may vary depending on the causative agent and individual factors.


Gonococcal Urethritis: Diagnosis of gonococcal urethritis usually involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. Testing may include a urethral swab or urine sample to detect the presence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (NGU): Diagnosing NGU often follows a similar process, including medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. However, specific tests may be required to identify the causative bacteria or pathogens responsible for NGU, such as nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) or culture tests.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Non Gonococcal Urethritis

Can Urethritis Cure Itself?

Urethritis, whether gonococcal or non-gonococcal, typically requires treatment with antibiotics to effectively clear the infection. While some cases of urethritis may resolve on their own, especially if the underlying cause is mild or transient, it is not advisable to rely solely on self-resolution. Without proper treatment, urethritis can lead to complications and may persist or worsen over time. Therefore, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider for appropriate diagnosis and treatment if symptoms of urethritis occur.

How to Stop Urethra Itching?

Urethra itching can be uncomfortable and bothersome, but there are several strategies to alleviate symptoms:
Maintain Good Hygiene: Keeping the genital area clean and dry can help prevent irritation and itching. Avoid using harsh soaps or perfumed products that may irritate the urethra.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help dilute urine and reduce irritation during urination. Increasing fluid intake also promotes urinary tract health.
Avoid Irritants: Refrain from activities or substances that may irritate the urethra, such as holding urine for prolonged periods, using scented hygiene products, or engaging in rough sexual activity.
Use Moisturizers: Applying a gentle, water-based moisturizer to the genital area may help soothe itching and irritation.
Seek Medical Advice: If urethra itching persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as discharge or pain during urination, it is important to consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

Can NGU be cured?

Yes, NGU can usually be cured with antibiotics. It’s important to complete the full course of treatment to ensure the infection is fully eradicated.

Are there any long-term complications of NGU?

Untreated NGU can lead to complications such as chronic urethritis and infertility, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.


Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) is a common STI caused by bacteria other than Neisseria gonorrhoeae. While it shares similarities with gonorrhea, NGU requires different treatment approaches and can lead to complications if left untreated. Understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for NGU is essential for effective management and prevention of long-term complications.

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