What is Ureaplasma? Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Ureaplasma

What is Ureaplasma? Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment

Ureaplasma (Уреаплазмоз) is a genitourinary disease caused by infection with certain types of ureaplasmas (Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum), a pathogenic gram negative bacteria in the genus Ureaplasma and the family Mycoplasmataceae in the order Mycoplasmatales

There are two known biovars of U. urealyticum: T960 and 27 that are commonly found in the urogenital tracts of human beings, but overgrowth of these strains of bacterium can lead to infections

Ureaplasma can be passed through sexual contact although it is not considered an STD or STI

Is Ureaplasma urealyticum pathogenic?

Ureaplasma urealyticum is generally considered to be a commensal bacterium; however, in certain circumstances, Ureaplasma can become pathogenic, thus playing an etiologic role in both genital infections and male infertility. As a commensal, Ureaplasma can go undetected by the immune system, and it can exist as normal commensal flora in the genitourinary tract, especially in women, and remain undetected for years unless specifically tested for

Is Ureaplasma parvum pathogenic?

Genital ureaplasmas (Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum) are potentially pathogenic microorganisms (commensals) of the lower urinary tract. Ureaplasmas play an etiologic role in both genital infections and male infertility.

What is the difference between Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum?

U parvum is most commonly found in various clinical specimens; however, Ureaplasma urealyticum is more pathogenic and is usually associated with serious medical conditions such as urethritis in males, and Bacterial Vaginosis in women

Most genitourinary infections are sexually transmitted; common pathogens include:

1- Bacteria, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Haemophilus ducreyi, and Treponema pallidum

2- Parasites, such as Trichomonas vaginalis

3- Viruses, such as: herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency virus, and HPV (human papillomavirus)

How serious is Ureaplasma?

If left untreated, the infection will continue to spread in the female genitourinary tract and it can cause genitourinary infections such as urethritis, Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Cervicitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and infertility.[1]

Besides, Ureaplasma can also be the underlying cause of chronic pain/discomfort and can lead to complications during pregnancy.

In a matter of weeks, Ureaplasma can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and women usually develop PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease).

How did I get Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma is typically transmitted among sexually active adults through sexual contact. Ureaplasma can infect both men and women

It can enter the body through the urethra or vagina. Ureaplasma can also be transmitted from mother-to-child (Vertical transmission).

How is Ureaplasma spread?

Ureaplasma is usually spread by oral, penile, vaginal, or anal sexual contact. However, Genital ureaplasmas are commensals that can also be found in healthy genital tracts. When a colony of Ureaplasma overgrow above normal limits, the surrounding tissues become inflamed, this is when they cause irritation

In Indonesia, public toilets are a common transmission vector of ureaplasma parvum formerly known as Ureaplasma urealyticum biovar 1

U parvum is most commonly spread through contact with a toilet seat

Is ureaplasma transmitted through kissing?

Ureaplasma urealyticum can also be spread through saliva, blood, needles and by sharing unclean sex toys.

Can you pass Ureaplasma through oral?

Ureaplasma can also be sexually transmitted by unprotected oral or vaginal sex. Common symptoms of Ureaplasma in men include: urethritis and occasionally epididymitis

Can a virgin get Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma can be found in virgin women too

What are the signs and symptoms of Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma may be difficult to detect because early-stage infection usually causes little or no clinical symptoms (asymptomatic)

In involved organs and systems observed symptoms usually develop gradually. Common signs and symptoms from the internal organs of patients with Ureaplasma include:

Signs and symptoms of urethritis (urethral syndrome)

Urithritis affects both men and women, symptoms include: burning sensation at the tip of your urethra, redness and inflammation around the site of infection, itching of the genital area, abdominal pain, unusual discharge, and frequent, painful urination (dysuria)

Symptoms of cystitis in women

1- Dysuria, a burning feeling when urinating
2- Pelvic pain
3- Urinary urgency, strong persistent urge to urinate
4- Cloudy strong-smelling urine
5- Chronic fatigue syndrome, feeling generally ill, and tired
6- Pressure, bloating, swelling, or pain in the area below your belly button
7- Hematuria (blood in urine)

Symptoms of Cervicitis and PID in women

1- Burning sensation when you urinate
2- Pain in your lower abdomen (pelvic pain)
3- Watery, yellow, or greenish vaginal discharge with a bad odor (fishy odor)
4- Pain with vaginal intercourse that is felt deep inside the pelvis, especially with attempted or complete vaginal entry (dyspareunia)
5- Fever
6- Premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
7- Uterine infection
8- Bleeding between periods (metrorrhagia)
9- Painful periods (Dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia)
10- Recurrent pregnancy loss
11- Infertility

Symptoms of ureaplasma in a male

As the disease progresses, patients may describe discomfort with ejaculation. Additionally, ureaplasma may increase the risk of infertility.

Does Ureaplasma cause sore throat?

Other common symptoms of ureaplasma in men and women include: chronic sore throat, chronic fatigue, headaches, gall stones, kidney stones, red itchy eyes, and may lead to blindness.

What does Ureaplasma do to your body?

Ureaplasma can lead to urethritis, cystitis, cervicitis, PID, and infertility

Ureaplasma parvum is associated with stillbirth, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), premature delivery and low-birth-weight babies

Chorioamnionitis (intra-amniotic infection) occurs in the second trimester of pregnancy when Ureaplasma parvum penetrates into amnion (a membrane that closely covers the embryos when first formed)

Ureaplasma and other pathogenic bacteria induce the secretion of
pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor α), IL-8

Serum IL-6 and IL-8 levels are elevated in UTI. IL-8 (a member of the chemokine family) causes migration of neutrophils to the place of inflammation, leading to pyuria (white blood cells in the urine) in patients with UTI

IL-6 is an an anti-inflammatory cytokine associated with pyuria and microbial growth in the urinary tract. IL-6 inhibits production of albumin and induces synthesis of acute phase proteins such as fibrinogen, CRP, serum amyloid A and hepcidin in hepatocytes, which is why it is considered the best regulator of acute phase protein synthesis in the liver.

Can Ureaplasma cause fatigue?

Females with ureaplasma infection may experience pelvic pain, dysuria and fatigue.

Can Ureaplasma affect the throat?

Sexually acquired ureaplasmal infections may affect the throat, urethra, cervix, adnexa, or rectum. Diagnose using nucleic acid amplification tests.

Can guys get Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasmal infections affect both men and women in varying degrees and ways. In most cases, Ureaplasmal infections cause no symptoms. However, when they do cause symptoms in sexually active men, urethritis is the most common genitourinary symptom.

Men would typically have dysuria, urinary urgency, and slow urine stream or urinary hesitancy.

How do they test for Ureaplasma in females?

After the clinical examination, your doctor may need to take a vaginal swab or a urine specimen, then send the specimen cup to a nearby lab to check for the presence of ureaplasma. It may take 2-3 days for the results to come back.

The sample is tested for Ureaplasma infection with either culture or DNA testing (a PCR test).

EliGene® Ureaplasma UNI kit tests for Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum from isolated DNA sample

Test kits like VIASURE Sexually Transmitted Diseases Real Time PCR Detection Kit, or 7-in-1 STI Test Kit​​ are used to detect common STD’s, through a vaginal swab or a urine sample

Is there a home test for Ureaplasma?

At Home Ureaplasma & Mycoplasma Test Kit, and Ureaplasma Urealyticum STI test kit, test for Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum

What does it mean to test positive for Ureaplasma?

A test that is positive for ureaplasma, indicates the presence of this bacteria in the system. The treatment usually consists of antibiotics, such as Doxycycline

Will Ureaplasma go away without treatment?

If Ureaplasma is detected, it should be treated properly with a course of antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection to the upper reproductive tract, especially if you wish to be pregnant (or your partner is, or wishes to be pregnant).

What happens if you leave Ureaplasma untreated for several months?

Without proper treatment, the infection will spread to the upper reproductive tract, leading to serious complications such as non-specific urethritis, infertility, premature or stillbirth, pneumonia and meningitis.

If eft untreated for several months, Ureaplasma can spread to other parts of the body and damage nerves, joints, and muscles.

Does Ureaplasma cause BV?

Ureaplasma have been associated with BV,10 although modestly in some studies. High rates of ureaplasma colonisation among patients without clinical disease further complicate interpretation.

What kills Ureaplasma?

Povidone-iodine (PVP-I), an antiseptic used for skin disinfection, can be used to kill Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum.

Do I have to tell my partner I have ureaplasma?

Partner notification (PN) is obligatory, it is necessary to notify any current sexual partner(s) about this infection as they may also require testing and treatment, to prevent passing Ureaplasma back and forth.

How long does it take to cure Ureaplasma?

Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice for ureaplasma, a regimen of Doxycycline 100-200 mg orally twice daily for 7-14 days has been effective in eradicating the organism.

Current treatment guidelines recommend either Doxycycline, or azithromycin in a single 1 g dose or 500 mg once daily for 5 days

Avoid sexual contact during the course of antibiotics.

Is 7 days of doxycycline enough for Ureaplasma?

A regimen of Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice daily for 7 days works well clinically in persons with urethritis due to Ureaplasma species.

Can probiotics help Ureaplasma?

According to a recent study, probiotic supplements provide a protective effect on the vaginal microbiota [2][3][4][5], which is why, patients can be treated with probiotics to reduce the growth of Ureaplasma parvum






Verified by: Dr.Diab (October 10, 2022)

Citation: Dr.Diab. (October 10, 2022). What is Ureaplasma? Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment. Medcoi Journal of Medicine, 18(2). urn:medcoi:article21075.

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