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NGU - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

What is NGU?

Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is an inflammation of the urethra that is not caused by gonorrheal infection.

What causes NGU?

Several types of germs cause NGU, the most common and serious is chlamydia. Chlamydia is

very common in both males and females. The diagnosis of NGU is more commonly made in males

than in females, mainly due to the anatomical differences. Germs that can cause NGU include

but are not limited to:
- Chlamydia trachomatis (most common)
- Ureaplasma urealyticum
- Trichomonas vaginalis (rare)
- Herpes simplex virus (rare)
- Haemophilus vaginalis
- Mycoplasma genitalium

What are NGU symptoms?

In men, urethral infection, symptoms may include the following:
- Discharge from the penis
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Itching, irritation or tenderness
- Underwear stain

Symptoms of NGU in women can include:
- Discharge from the vagina
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Abdominal pain or abnormal vaginal bleeding may be an indication that the infection has progressed to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Anal or oral infections may occur in both men and women. Anal infections may result in rectal itching, discharge or pain during a bowel movement. Oral infections may occur but most (90 percent) of these infections are asymptomatic. Some people might have a sore throat.

How is NGU diagnosed?

An NGU diagnosis is made when a man has urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), but gonorrhea is ruled out because he has a negative gonorrhea culture and/or gram stain.

Other tests include:
- Chlamydia culture
- Urinalysis (sometimes, but rarely)

- Chlamydia culture
- Gonorrhea culture to rule out gonorrhea

How is NGU treated?

The main treatments for NGU are the antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline. Alternative antibiotics are erythromycin and ofloxacin. For recurrent NGU herbal formulas can help. A woman who is pregnant, or thinks she might be, should tell her doctor. This will ensure that a medicine will be used that will not harm the baby. Take all medications, even if you start to feel better before you finish the bottle. Inform all partners. Abstain from sex until all partners are treated. Return for evaluation by a health care provider if symptoms persist or if symptoms recur after taking all the prescribed medicine.


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