Balanitis, Cystitis, Non-Specific Urethritis, Proctitis and Thrush

Portrait of a happy gay couple outdoorsBalanitis, Cystitis, Non-Specific Urethritis, Proctitis (part of a group infections called NSGI’s or Non-Specific Genital Infections) and Thrush are all common infections which are caused by an inflammation of the lining of certain parts of your body. Most are caused by a bacterial infection in the area which has irritated the lining. Some like Non-Specific Urethritis can be commonly linked to STIs like Chlamydia. However Balanitis, Proctitis and Cystitis are not always caused by the presence of a Sexually Transmitted infection whilst Thrush is caused by an over-abundance of the Candida Bacteria in your body.

Below you will find a fact checker to help you identify what these STIs look like, how they are transmitted, symptoms of them, treatment and curability.



  • Balanitis is the inflammation of the glans (or head) of the penis caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally occurring in the area.

Causes of Balanitis:

  • Lack of hygiene and or/cleaning around or beneath the foreskin
  • Sometimes caused by a tightness in the foreskin making it difficult to clean (this is called Phimosis)
  • Most commonly occurs in uncircumcised men as the foreskin provides the perfect environment for Balanitis to multiply

Symptoms of Balanitis:

  • Spots
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Difficulty Urinating

stockvault--clean135568Treatment for Balanitis:

  • Anti-fungal creams
  • Saline baths
  • Gentle washing with non-irritating soap and warm water
  • In extreme circumstances a circumcision may be required

Is Balanitis curable:

  • Balantitis is treatable and curable. Some men will have recurrent Balanitis which will require continual attention.

Do I need to contact my previous sexual partners:

  • No – unless an infection has been detected.


  • Cystitis is the inflammation of the bladder caused by a bladder infection.

Causes of Cystitis:

  • A bacterial infection which develops during a blockage of your urinary system.
  • Damage around the urethra – chemical irritants such as perfumed soap.

Symptoms of Cystitis :

  • Pain when urinating
  • Pressing need to urinate
  • Strong smelling urine which is dark or cloudy
  • Feverishness
  • Pain in abdomen

Treatment for Cystitis:

  • Painkillers
  • Hydration
  • Abstinence until symptoms clear up
  • Antibiotics

Is Cystitis curable:

  • Cystitis is curable.

Do I need to contact my previous sexual partners:

  • No – unless an infection has been detected.

Non-Specific UrethritisMicrobiology 

  • Non-Specific Urethritis is an unknown inflammation of the urethra caused by an infection (which is often a Chlamydia infection).

Causes of Non-Specific Urethritis:

  • Irritation to the Urinary tract
  • STI infections such as Chlamydia

Symptoms of Non-Specific Urethritis:

  • White/Cloudy discharge from penis
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Tip of penis irritated
  • Need to urinate

Treatment for Non-Specific Urethritis:

  • Antibiotics

Is Non-Specific Urethritis curable:

  • Non-Specific Urethritis is curable.

Do I need to contact my previous sexual partners:

  • Yes – even though an infection may not have been found the likely case is usually a Chlamydia infection.


  • Proctitis is the inflammation of the top 6 inches of rectal lining called the rectal mucosa which is situated in the rectum.

Causes of Proctitis:

  • STIs such as Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes and Warts.
  • Auto-immune conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
  • Chemical irritation or foreign agents in the rectum

Symptoms of Proctitis:

  • Pain during a bowl movement
  • Soreness around the anus and/or in the rectum
  • Feeling of not emptying bowels after passing a stool
  • Involuntary spasms and cramping

Treatment for Proctitis:

  • Antibiotics
  • Medications to suppress immune system such as steroids for those suffering as a result of Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis

Is Proctitis curable:

  • Proctitis is curable.

Do I need to contact my previous sexual partners:

  • Yes – if it has been not identified as an auto-immune cause then partners should be treated.


  • Thrush is a yeast infection caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans. It is more commonly associated with women but men can also have Thrush

Causes of Thrush:

  • Develops when harmless bacteria which suppresses the infection is destroyed. This can be done by antibiotics or when your immune system is weak.
  • The Candida fungus will cause the thrush to multiply
  • Caused by also not drying after washing or using chemical irritants

Symptoms of Thrush:

  • Irritation
  • Burning under foreskin
  • Redness or red patches on tip of penis
  • Discharge under foreskin which looks like cottage cheese
  • Difficulty pulling back the foreskin

Treatment for Thrush:

  • Anti-Fungal Creams such as Topical Imidazoles

Is Thrush curable:

  • Thrush is curable.

Do I need to contact my previous sexual partners:

  • No – unless an infection has been detected