What Is An NSU And How Can You Avoid It?

safe sexNSU stands for non-specific urethritis and is a sexual health problem caused by having unprotected sex with someone who has a sexually transmitted infection (STI). This can be vaginal, oral or anal sex, and it is usually caused by a micro-organism (but can be caused by other factors, which is why it is referred to as ‘non-specific’).

The most common case of an NSU is an STI called Chlamydia. This may, in fact, account for as many as 50 percent of cases of NSU in men. Trichomonas Vaginalis and Herpes are also causes of NSU, as are Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma Gentialium bacteria.

There are occasions when an NSU is caused by inflammation rather than by a bacteria, and this inflammation can affect the wellbeing by causing pain and difficulty in passing urine. It can be caused by vigorous sex or masturbation or by inserting objects, chemicals or liquids into the urethra.

NSUs are far easier to diagnose in men than in women, due to the nature of the urethra. They are generally passed on through any type of unprotected sex that allows the bacteria to transmit from one person to another. They are not transmitted in any other way, such as sharing towels or toilet seats or by hugging or kissing.

Symptoms vary from person to person, with some people experiencing only mild symptoms and others finding their wellness severely affected by an NSU. Symptoms can include a white or cloudy discharge from the penis, which may indicate infection, or a feeling of needing to go to the toilet more often. It may also cause pain, a burning sensation when passing water or a difficulty in urinating. It can also cause irritation or itching at the opening of the urethra.

Treatment is usually given in the form of antibiotics, and can take some time to clear up altogether.

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