Ureaplasma urealyticum is a bacteria that is naturally found in the urinary, reproductive, and respiratory organs of both men and women.
What is Ureaplasma?
Ureaplasma is mostly found in the vaginas and cervixes of healthy women, but it has also been found in the urethras of some men. The bacteria, which are otherwise harmless, grow in number and cause inflammation to the healthy tissues.
Ureaplasma is seen mostly in women with multiple sex partners. However, the infection is believed to go away a few months after birth or is reduced by antibiotics.
People with weak immune systems (especially those with HIV and organ transplantation) are at higher risk of a Ureaplasma infection.
Is Ureaplasma urealyticum a big deal?
Ureaplasma infections can cause signs and symptoms such as:
- Urethritis: Urethritis is an infection of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder. symptoms of urethritis include:
- Bacterial vaginosis: Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that occurs in the vagina and causes symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain: A Ureaplasma infection can cause severe abdominal pain. The following conditions may result in abdominal pain:
- Prostatitis: Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland and can cause severe pelvic pain. Other symptoms of prostate gland infection include fever, chills, difficulty passing urine, frequent urge to urinate, nausea, and vomiting.
- Endometritis: Endometritis refers to the inflammation of the lining in the wall of the womb, causing pelvic pain and abnormal vaginal discharge. Endometritis can be caused by various other bacteria in addition to being associated with a Ureaplasma infection.
- Kidney stones: Ureaplasma plays an important role in the development of kidney stones in some people, causing salts and minerals in the body to clump together and form hard kidney stones. Large stones can cause severe pain as well as nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, cloudy or smelly urine, and the frequent urge to urinate.
- Infertility: Ureaplasma infections can cause infertility in both men and women. Bacteria may affect sperm count and motility.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women with an infection may develop complications such as premature birth, miscarriages, and stillbirth. Preterm babies who are underweight are at high risk of a Ureaplasma infection, and newborns can develop meningitis, pneumonia, and lung and breathing issues if affected.
How are Ureaplasma infections diagnosed?
Your doctor may order the following tests to diagnose a Ureaplasma infection:
- Urine test
- Cervical swab test
- Endometrial swab
- Endometrial biopsy
How is Ureaplasma treated?
Antibiotics are typically used to treat Ureaplasma infections. Ureaplasma does not have cell walls, making an infected person more resistant to penicillin. However, other antibiotics are available to treat the infection, including:
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