Ureaplasma is an infection that is found in up to 70% of sexually active adults – symptoms

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Naturally inhabiting the urinary and reproductive tracts, ureaplasma has been implicated for cases of urethritis – inflammation of the urethra in both sexes. Health experts at LloydsPharmacy confirmed: “Ureaplasma is typically transmitted through sexual contact.” The “common” infection is usually symptomless, yet if inflammation occurs, symptoms can include:

  • Pain during urination
  • A burning sensation
  • Unexpected discharge.

In women specifically, it can lead to a foul-smelling vaginal odour and watery vaginal discharge.

If you are experiencing symptoms, you can purchase an at-home sexual health kit – available at pharmacies – as ureaplasma is not normally tested for at the doctor’s clinic.

This is because the infection “usually goes away within a few months” for healthy individuals.

People with a weakened immune system, however, are more at risk of sustaining the infection.

Laboratory testing can determine a ureaplasma infection

Treating ureaplasma is simple, as a course of prescribed antibiotics can get rid of the infection.

What is ureaplasma?

Part of the body’s bacterial population, ureaplasma belongs to a class of bacteria called mycoplasma.

The health site Medical News Today added that “the mycoplasma species are the smallest known organisms of their type that can make a copy of themselves to reproduce”.

The infection is linked to diseases and conditions that affect the male and female reproductive systems.

Ureaplasma infection could lead to issues with fertility; infertility is defined as trying to conceive for 12 months without success.

“The bacteria may affect the number of sperm and their ability to move in men,” the health site explained.

“In women, it may cause an infection that makes pregnancy more difficult to achieve.”

Ureaplasma has also been connected to the development of bacterial vaginosis (BV).

BV

The NHS noted that the “most common” symptom of BV is an “unusual vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell”.

The discharge us usually thin, watery and white or grey in colour, and the smell is more pronounced following sexual intercourse.

Antibiotics are needed to clear up the infection, which can either be tablets, cream, or gel.

An infection with ureaplasma has also been connected to pelvic or abdominal pain, Medical News Today noted.

Examples of painful conditions ureaplasma is connected to include:

  • Prostatitis
  • Endometritis
  • Kidney stones.

How to prevent ureaplasma?

“Only abstaining from sexual contact can prevent ureaplasma transmission,” Medical News Today stated.

“But, some people may have ureaplasma colonisation without having sex.”

This is why ureaplasma is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, even though it can be passed on via sexual intercourse.

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