What is Ureaplasma?
Ureaplasma is a bacteria that lives naturally in the respiratory, urinary and reproductive tracts of both men and women. It can be passed through sexual contact but is not always considered to be a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the same way that others are.
When a colony of the Ureaplasma bacteria overgrows, it can cause irritation, discomfort and can lead to other health issues. Ureaplasma is highly contagious and infected individuals have been shown to be more susceptible to contracting other STIs. Therefore, it is important to have a full STI check-up.
How can I catch Ureaplasma?
Ureaplasma is very common amongst sexually active individuals. The infection is transmitted mainly through unprotected vaginal or anal sex. It can also be transmitted through non-sexual contact such as sharing needles, blood transfusions and, in extreme cases, through coughing, kissing (saliva), and nose or eye secretions.
Pregnant women can pass the infection on to their unborn baby. The infection usually goes away within a few months, or will clear up with antibiotics.
What are the symptoms and signs of Ureaplasma in men and women?
Ureaplasma usually shows no symptoms in the early stages. However, when they occur, symptoms include inflammation of the urethra in both men and women. This can lead to pain during urination, a burning sensation and unusual discharge, plus redness and inflammation around the site of infection. In women, this can lead to an unusual watery vaginal discharge, unpleasant vaginal odour and lower abdominal pains.
Getting tested and having an early diagnosis means that you will reduce the likelihood of health complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or a more serious infection.
Did you know? …
In pregnant women, an untreated Ureaplasma infection can cause complications during birth.
How can Ureaplasma be tested/checked?
Testing with Better2Know is easy, fast and painless. You simply provide a urine sample at the clinic, or females can opt for a swab test instead. The results will take up to five working days from when we receive your sample. Ureaplasma testing is also available as part of our Comfort Screen, Full Screen and Platinum Screen.
What are the risks if Ureaplasma is left untreated?
If left untreated, Ureaplasma may increase the risk of developing other conditions including kidney stones, premature labour, respiratory diseases in new-borns and increased likelihood of contracting other STIs such as HIV. In extreme cases, Ureaplasma can spread to other parts of your body and damage your joints, nerves and muscles, causing meningitis and even pneumonia.
In women, a prolonged Ureaplasma infection also increases risk of infertility.
What if I test positive for Ureaplasma?
Ureaplasma is usually treated with a course of antibiotics, although some people might clear the infection by simply resting and avoiding sexual activity. Once the treatment has been received, you are advised to abstain from any sexual activity for a couple of weeks to avoid passing the bacterium to your sexual partner.
Better2Know will provide you with a prescription for treatment if you test positive for Ureaplasma. You can choose whether to access treatment through your Better2Know doctor, or take your results to your own GP or local GUM clinic. Your chosen clinician will be able to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for you.
If you have tested positive for Ureaplasma using a home sample collection test, we can arrange a doctor’s consultation for you. Your doctor will receive a copy of your results, discuss your diagnosis with you and prescribe you the appropriate antibiotic. To book your private GP appointment, simply phone us on the number at the top of the page.
You may want to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she may also need to get tested.
Book your Ureaplasma test
Better2Know is the world’s leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We will arrange a clinic appointment or home testing kit quickly, and deliver fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. If you have any concerns about your sexual health, please call our friendly booking team on the number above or click Book Now.