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Non-gonococcal Urethritis


Also Known as:

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Dick Toothpaste

Non-gonococcal Urethritis (NGU) is a common STI in men. It’s an infection of the urethra. NGU is most commonly caused by bacteria that are sexually transmitted.

How do I get it?

A person contracts NGU through unprotected sex (oral, vaginal, anal) with someone who has germs that can cause NGU. The germs that cause NGU can be present long before you notice symptoms.


The best way to know if you have NGU is to get tested. This involves a doctor or nurse taking a swab from your penis.

Some some people with a penis will not show symptoms. When they do show up, symptoms include the following:

  • A slight burning feeling when peeing
  • Itching inside the penis
  • Clear to creamy fluid from the urethra
  • Usually, the symptoms are seen or felt more in the morning.



NGU is treated with antibiotics. Make sure that both you and your partner(s) are treated. You can always become re-infected. If symptoms persist after treatment, contact your healthcare provider.

Your partner(s) also needs to be tested and treated even if there are no symptoms. You can get re-infected if you have condomless sex (oral, vaginal, or anal without a condom) before your partner(s) is treated.


The biggest risk for not treating NGU is infertility (no baby making). It can also cause serious health problems in your partner(s).

If the bacteria that caused urethritis are not treated, they can lead to pain and swelling in one or both testicles (balls) and may result in infertility. The bacteria or virus that causes urethritis can also cause complications in women. Sexual partners of men diagnosed with urethritis also require testing and treatment.

When can sex start up again?

It takes one week for the antibiotic to rid the body of the infection. With that in mind, don’t have unprotected sex (oral, vaginal, anal without a condom) for 7 days after you and your partner(s) have been treated. The best protection is not to have sex for 7 days after finishing your treatment.

Other resources

What to expect when
getting tested

Get comfortable with the process.

  • What to bring
    to your
  • What will
    you be
  • What the

What to bring
to your

Your name and contact details and questions about your sexual history.

  • A form of ID (driver's license, passport)
  • Your health care card

What will
you be

Questions about your recent sexual history.

When you last had sex, whether it was unprotected, what kind of symptoms you have...

What the

A few different potential tests involve procedures that aren’t a huge deal.

Pelvic exams, swab tests, blood tests and or urine tests

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