Dr.Deyn | 9 August 2019, Reviewed and updartred on 3 March 2021
What is Ureaplasma?
Ureaplasma is a group of tiny bacteria that inhabit the respiratory and urogenital (urinary and reproductive) tract. They are some of the smallest free-living organisms in the world. They’re so tiny that they can’t be seen through a microscope.
Ureaplasma is often a part of the human microbiome, which consists of trillions of tiny cells that live in and on the human body. These tiny organisms help you digest food, fight infections, and maintain reproductive health.
Sometimes typically harmless bacteria overgrow and inflame healthy tissues. This creates a colony of bacteria that can lead to infection.
Ureaplasma species have been linked to a variety of medical problems, including bacterial vaginosis and pregnancy complications. Ureaplasma infections appear to be associated with an increased risk of some problems, but not their direct cause. However, research is inconclusive.
Ureaplasma urealyticum is a very common infection that is mainly spread via sexual contact, however, it isn't classified as an STI but a bacterial infection.
Ureaplasma urealyticum is a genital mycoplasma that colonises the genital tract and produces infection. The infection itself is highly contagious and can be linked to the contraction of other STIs making it important to get a full check up.
The symptoms for this condition aren't necessarily noticeable, which therefore means that many individuals with ureaplasma don't realise they are infected. This make it important to get tested for bacterial infections spread by sexual contact to avoid spreading it further. It is essential to treat ureaplasma, regarding of whether you have any symptoms, for the following reasons:
Reduced risk of further health problems such as infertility and meningitis.
Psychological issues associated with STIs such as anxiety and stress.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF UREAPLASMA?
Ureaplasma is often characterised as urethritis in men and genital tract infections in women. Ureaplasma is also often asymptomatic in many cases and the majority of infected people may not even realise they have the condition. If symptoms do appear, these can be very similar symptoms to urethritis, other STIs and infections.
Venereological patients (those involved in the study of STIs) are often diagnosed with ureaplasma.
Ureaplasma in men
Ureaplasma is often diagnosed in men with epididymitis (a condition in which the area behind the testicle where sperm is stored is inflamed).
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Frequent urination
- Slow urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Urethral discharge
Ureaplasma in women
Ureaplasma is often diagnosed alongside chorioamnionitis (an infection of the vagina due to a bacterial infection, often occurring during pregnancy), especially when there is a rapid expansion of the infection.
- Redness and inflammation
- Unusual discharge
- Pain during urination (dysuria)
- Lower abdominal pains
- Pain from the vagina
- Unusual odour
Another symptom of ureaplasma include urethrorrhoea (the flow of blood from the urethra). Some women may experience chronic cystitis or other similar urinary tract infections (UTIs).
What's the difference between ureaplasma urealyticum and mycoplasma genitalium
Ureaplasma and mycoplasma are often connected to each other. The reason is that they are caused by different bacterium from the same mycoplasma family.
Mycoplasma is responsible for hundreds of types of bacteria, however, some can causes infections; two of which are ureaplasma urealyticum and mycoplasma genitalium. Other infections include mycoplasma pneumonia, mycoplasma hominis and ureaplasma parvum.
Both infections require the same antibiotics to treat and cure the infection. It is also common for both bacterial infections to present no symptoms whatsoever. It comes as no surprise that they are often intertwined.
Both ureaplasma and mycoplasma are commonly found in the reproductive tract.
Both can be treated completely, often with doxycycline and azithromycin.
Causes of ureaplasma
The principal cause of ureaplasma is the result of the spread of an infectious agent by an infected person to their partner through sexual contact (vaginal sex and oral sex). Other causes can include: Saliva, Blood (including transfusions), Air, Needles
It's important to remember that other bacterial STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea can also result in ureaplasma and other infections. As infections in the reproductive area causes scarring and damage, especially when untreated, this makes it easier for you to contract a host of other sexual infections. Getting a full STI check-up when needed is essential in stopping the spread of infections and avoiding long-term complications.
Ureaplasma is extremely contagious, and is most often spread through sexual contact and unprotected sex with multiple partners. In more extreme cases, you can become infected if you touch an infected person's nose or eye secretions, or if an infected person coughs in your face.
How can I get tested for ureaplasma?
If you are displaying any of the symptoms listed above, then you should book an appointment with your GP or a sexual health clinic, where they will be able to test you for ureaplasma and other STIs by urine test or swab test and the best test is PCR looking for its DNA. An early diagnosis means that you can get treatment straightaway, which will reduce your chances of complications like pelvic inflammatory disease, infection in the testicles or the brain membrane.
What are the risks of ureaplasma?
Although ureaplasma can easily be treated, it can stay unrecognised for months because it rarely shows any symptoms. It's been found that, if left untreated, ureaplasma can be associated with infertility, premature or still birth, non-specific urethritis, chorioamnionitis, meningitis and pneumonia. If ureaplasma has been left untreated for several months, it can spread to other parts of your body and damage your joints, nerves and muscles. As mentioned, ureaplasma can be effectively treated, ensuring that these health problems can be successfully avoided.
Prevention for ureaplasma
Ureaplasma is a completely avoidable condition and can be prevented by adhering to the following methods:
Use condoms – this is the safest and most recommended option to prevent ureaplasma in the most effective, and safest way possible.
Minimise the number of your current sexual partners.
Avoid sharing sex toys – if sex toys are shared, ensure they are cleaned and covered with a condom.
Attend regular STI screenings, and encouraging your partner(s), to prevent the infection from being passed on.
What treatment options do we offer for ureaplasma?
At this current moment in time, the only method available to effectively treat ureaplasma is prescription medication. A simple course of antibiotics can be used to successfully treat this condition.
There are two types of antibiotics usually prescribed that completely cure ureaplasma. This is Doxycyclinethat is usually taken as a weeklong course and Azithromycin taken as a single dose treatment, although it may take up to seven days for the infection to be entirely treated.
If you are unsure which treatment to go for, that's absolutely fine; begin a consultation and our partner doctor will recommend the best antibiotics for you. This whole process takes around ten minutes and you can receive your order the same day or next day.
Even if your symptoms disappear before you finish your course of antibiotics, you should always ensure you take the full course, to prevent the infection from returning.
Taking a consultation online
If you test positive for ureaplasma, you can buy antibiotics online. As they are prescription medications, it's required to complete a consultation reviewed by a medical professional. You can do this here with our quick, simple online consultation.
Once you have completed the online consultation, our partner doctor will thoroughly assess and determine which treatments are best suited for you.
When you've made your choice, a prescription will be issued straight to the pharmacy and will dispatch your medication for next day (or same day, for all Bangkok postcodes) delivery. Call us now +66959156385 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ureaplasma is a bacterium that can be passed through sexual contact although it is not considered a classic STI or STD because of its low degree of pathogenicity. The two species are Parvum and Urealyticum.
It is estimated that quite a large proportion of the sexually active population is infected with Ureaplasma without it causing any problems whatsoever. We do however dispute claims that over 70% of the UK population has this infection. Having processed thousands of urine samples over the years, it is nowhere near this level!
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