Any inflammation of the urethra that is not caused by gonorrhea is called nongono­coccal urethritis (NGU). It is believed that three microscopic bacterial organisms— Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Mycoplasma genitalium—are primary causes of NGU (Centers for Disease Control, 2009d). NGU can also result from invasion by other infectious agents, allergic reactions to vaginal secretions, or irritation from soaps, vaginal contraceptives, or deodorant sprays.

Incidence and Transmission

NGU is quite common among men: In the United States NGU occurs more frequently than gonorrhea. Although NGU generally produces urinary tract symptoms only in men, there is evidence that women harbor the organisms that can cause NGU. The most common forms of NGU are generally transmitted through coitus. That NGU rarely occurs in men who are not involved in sexual interaction supports this contention.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

syphilis

A sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium called Trepo­nema pallidum.

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