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Ureaplasma Urealyticum

Causes, symptoms and treatment options for ureaplasma

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Dr Hilary Jones discusses ureaplasma urealyticum and the treatments available at HealthExpress
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Ureaplasma urealyticum is a bacterium that affects about 70% of sexually active men and women. Although it is not considered a typical STI, ureaplasma can be transmitted through sexual contact. Ureaplasma often carries no symptoms whatsoever, and most people may never experience any problems at all. However, if left untreated, it can cause serious health complications, so it's essential that you get tested and get treatment as soon as possible.

Two different antibiotics can be used to effectively treat ureaplasma, Doxycycline and Azithromycin. These medications are available to buy online after you take a free online consultation with our doctor. This consultation is completely confidential and will only be used to ensure the medication is safe for you to use.

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What are the symptoms of ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma is characterised by urethritis in men and genital tract infections in women. Ureaplasma is asymptomatic in many cases and the majority of infected people may not even realise they have the condition. Ureaplasma is often diagnosed in men with epididymitis (a condition in which the area behind the testicle where sperm is stored is inflamed) and venereological patients (people involved in the study of STIs).

Ureaplasma has similar symptoms to urethritis and 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. These symptoms include redness and inflammation, an unusual genital discharge and pain during urination.

Other symptoms of ureaplasma include lower abdominal pains, urethrorrhoea (the flow of blood from the urethra) and dysuria (painful urination).

What causes 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, saliva, blood transfusions, air, needles or blood.

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. An early diagnosis means that you can get treatment straightaway, which will reduce your chances of complications like pelvic inflammatory disease or infection in the testicles.

Testing is different for men and women. For women, a swab will be taken from the cervix or vagina as part of an internal assessment. Men wil be tested by means of a urine sample.

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.

Finding treatment

A simple course of antibiotics can be used to treat this condition. Doxycycline is usually be taken as a week-long course to treat ureaplasma. However, Azithromycin is taken as a single dose treatment, although it may take up to seven days for the infection to be entirely treated. You have a higher chance of successfully treating the infection if you start a course of antibiotics straight away. 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.

Obtaining treatment from us could not be easier and will take minutes.

Step 1 - Simply complete our online consultation which will be reviewed by one of our registered UK doctors. View the medical questions here

Step 2 - They will be able to recommend a range of beneficial treatments. You will receive a diagnosis in a secure email.

Step 3 - If deemed suitable, you will have the access to login, directly to your personalised member's area, from where you will be able to place your order and receive it the next working day.

Taking an online consultation

If you test positive for ureaplasma, we recommend that you take an online consultation to determine which prescription treatment is right for you. Once you have completed the online consultation, our doctor will thoroughly assess your condition and determine which treatments are best suited for you. When you've made your choice, a prescription will be issued and our pharmacy will dispatch your medication for overnight delivery.

Dr Hilary Jones, HealthExpress Medical Advisor

What should I do if I experience Ureaplasma?

Not many people know about ureaplasma, but it's a bacteria that is most commonly spread among sexually active people. If left untreated it can lead to complications.

Click here to find the right treatment for you