Family Tree Clinic


Non-specific Urethritis

Non- specific urethritis is inflammation (pain, redness and/or swelling) of the urethra (tube where urine comes out). The cause may not be known and the sexual infection gonorrhoea (which can cause inflammation) has been ruled out.

If you have signs of inflammation in your urethra it is common to be told you have non-specific urethritis straightaway, before the cause is known. You will probably be tested for sexually transmitted or possibly urinary tract infections to try to find out what the cause of the inflammation is. You may have to wait for these results.

Causes of non-specific urethritis include:

Sexually transmitted infections

Other organisms

Damage to the urethra

This can be caused by friction during vigorous sex or masturbation, or inserting objects into the urethra. Frequently inspecting or squeezing your urethra can also irritate it and cause inflammation – some men do this if they have recently had an infection or they are worried they might have one.

Antibacterial liquids

Applying liquids such as tea tree oil, antiseptic or disinfectant or using medicated or highly perfumed shower gels can cause inflammation.

Sensitivity or irritation

Rarely, inflammation can occur if your skin is very sensitive to chemicals, such as those in latex (in condoms, for example), spermicide or soap.

Non-specific urethritis is treated with antibiotics.