Ureaplasma Causes and Symptoms | STDWatch.com (2022)

  • Written by Dr. Patricia Shelton on 12 January 2022

Ureaplasma is caused by a type of bacteria called Ureaplasma urealyticum. This organism lives in the genital and urinary tracts in many people. It is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact. However, some studies have found these bacteria in people who have never had sex, which indicates that other modes of transmission are possible.

This organism is extremely common in the population. Studies have found ureaplasma bacteria in around half of all people. Many people with ureaplasma do not have any symptoms. They may find out that they have it only when they test positive. The test will show the result as “Ureaplasma spp NAA.” This simply means that a particular type of test found one or more species of ureaplasma bacteria.

If your test shows Ureaplasma spp NAA, symptoms may or may not occur. Ureaplasma symptoms can occur when the bacteria overgrow, which causes irritation to the mucous membranes where it lives. If symptoms do occur, the specific symptoms will depend on the patient’s gender and where they have the infection.

Ureaplasma Symptoms Female

In many cases, the presence of the ureaplasma bacteria is normal and doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, if a woman does experience ureaplasma infection symptoms, these may include:

  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Discharge from the urethra (the opening where urine comes out)
  • Pain or ache in the pelvic area or genitals
  • Watery vaginal discharge
  • Unpleasant vaginal odor

These ureaplasma signs are similar to the symptoms of many other sexually transmitted infections. In women, if a ureaplasma infection goes untreated, then it can lead to long-term consequences like infertility. The irritation caused by the infection also increases the likelihood of getting another STD.

(Video) Ureaplasma

In addition, ureaplasma has been linked to serious complications in a pregnancy, including preterm labor. Even if a pregnant woman doesn’t experience symptoms from the infection, it could still affect the baby.

Ureaplasma Symptoms Male

Similarly, a man may have no ureaplasma bacteria symptoms. If he does experience symptoms, these are fairly similar to the symptoms that are experienced by women, and may include:

  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Slow urine stream or difficulty fully emptying the bladder
  • Swelling of the urethra (the opening where urine comes out)
  • Discharge from the urethra

Just as for women, the symptoms of ureaplasma in men are similar to the symptoms of many other STDs. In addition, an untreated ureaplasma infection also increases the likelihood of getting another STD. Some studies have also linked untreated ureaplasma to infertility in men.

Order At-Home Ureaplasma Test Here

Ureaplasma in Mouth Symptoms

Although it usually grows in the urinary and genital tracts, it is also possible for the ureaplasma bacteria to grow in the throat. This type of infection is most likely to be transmitted through performing oral sex on a man, but oral sex on a woman may also transmit it.

(Video) Ureaplasma Infection *what you need to consider*

Sometimes, a person with ureaplasma in the throat may experience mild symptoms, such as a sore throat. However, many people who have ureaplasma in the throat will not experience any symptoms at all. Even without symptoms, the infection can still be transmitted to others via oral sex.

Does ureaplasma need treatment?

In general, people who don’t have any ureaplasma infection symptoms don’t need treatment. If ureaplasma is found on an STD screening, but you aren’t having any symptoms at all, then it may not be necessary to do anything about it.

Those who are experiencing symptoms should receive treatment with an antibiotic. In addition, if ureaplasma is found in a pregnant woman, then it’s generally recommended to treat the infection even if there are no apparent symptoms. This helps to prevent serious complications like preterm labor. If a woman is pregnant or intending to become pregnant, and she tests positive for ureaplasma, then she should be treated even if she doesn’t have symptoms. Her partner should also be tested (even if there are no symptoms) and treated if necessary, to prevent infecting the mother-to-be.

The symptoms of ureaplasma infection are very similar to the symptoms of many other STDs, including trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. For example, the ureaplasma symptoms discharge from the vagina is green and smells fishy, much like the discharge created by other infections. In addition, a person can have more than one infection at the same time. This is why testing is very important to determine the cause of the symptoms. Different infections require different treatments, so an accurate diagnosis is essential.

If you’re having symptoms of an STD or believe that you may have been exposed, then you have a few options for testing. One option is to go to an STD clinic to get tested in person. There is also convenient home STD testing available. The test kit is mailed to your house in discreet packaging, and you take samples yourself and mail them back to be tested in the lab. If you’re found to have an infection, you may also be able to get the antibiotics that you need in the mail through the same service.

(Video) Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma Molecular Testing Does Not Correlate with Irritative or Painful LUTS

FAQ

How long does ureaplasma last?

In some cases, a ureaplasma infection will clear up on its own without treatment. However, this can take a few months, and many people don’t want to live with their symptoms for that long. Additionally, an untreated infection could lead to infertility and other serious issues, so treatment is recommended.

When treated with an antibiotic (most commonly azithromycin or doxycycline), symptoms of ureaplasma will generally clear up within a few days. The antibiotic is continued for seven days, and almost all patients will no longer have symptoms by the time this is finished. If symptoms continue even when the course of antibiotics is completed, then a different antibiotic might be needed.

If I have ureaplasma does my partner have it too?

Once a person has an overgrowth of the ureaplasma bacteria, then it can be passed to a partner. If you are getting treatment for ureaplasma, then it’s generally recommended for your partner to be tested also, so they can receive treatment if they have the infection. Your partner should be tested even if they don’t have symptoms. Otherwise, your partner will very likely give ureaplasma back to you. The azithromycin ureaplasma treatment (or a different antibiotic) can be given to you both at the same time, and you should abstain from sex or use condoms until you have both cleared the infection. This means that you no longer have symptoms, and have tested negative.

Does ureaplasma mean cheating?

Although ureaplasma can be acquired through sexual activity, these bacteria have also been found in people who have never had sex. In addition, people can acquire ureaplasma and then have it for many years without showing any symptoms. Later, the bacteria can overgrow and cause symptoms to appear. If your partner has ureaplasma, they could have gotten it from a previous partner years ago and not had symptoms until now, or they may even have been infected in another way. It’s not possible to determine that someone has been cheating based solely on testing positive for ureaplasma.

Can ureaplasma come back?

After someone has been treated for ureaplasma, it is possible for the infection to return. In some cases, the bacteria may be resistant to the antibiotic. Treatment with a different antibiotic might help. Additionally, since ureaplasma is so common in the population, it can easily be acquired again after having gotten rid of it.

(Video) Ureaplasma urealyticum Sketch USMLE

If you get treatment for ureaplasma, but then develop symptoms again, you should be tested. Keep in mind that the symptoms of ureaplasma are similar to the symptoms of other STDs, so testing will be needed to determine the cause of your symptoms. It may be that your ureaplasma has come back, or it may be a different infection.

Order a LetsGetChecked Ureaplasma Test Here

Sources

Christopolous P, Deligeoroglou E, et al. Genital mycoplasmas in non-sexually active young females with vaginal discharge. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2007 Apr;97(1):49-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2006.09.028

Huang C, Zhu HL, et al. Mycoplasma and ureaplasma infection and male infertility: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Andrology 2015 Sep;3(5):809-16. doi: 10.1111/andr.12078

Leli C, Mencacci A, et al. Prevalence of cervical colonization by Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma genitalium in childbearing age women by a commercially available multiplex real-time PCR: An Italian observational multicentre study. J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2018 Apr;51(2):220-225. doi: 10.1016/j.jmii.2017.05.004

(Video) Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma

Motomura K, Romero R, et al. Intra-Amniotic Infection with Ureaplasma parvum Causes Preterm Birth and Neonatal Mortality That Are Prevented by Treatment with Clarithromycin. mBio 2020 May-Jun; 11(3): e00797-20. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00797-20

Sackel SG, Alpert S, et al. Orogenital contact and the isolation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma hominis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum from the pharynx. Sex Transm Dis Apr-Jun 1979;6(2):64-8. doi: 10.1097/00007435-197904000-00004

Tantengco OAL, Silva MC, et al. The role of genital mycoplasma infection in female infertility: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Reprod Immunol 2021 Jun;85(6):e13390. doi: 10.1111/aji.13390

FAQs

What triggers Ureaplasma? ›

Ureaplasma is typically transmitted through sexual contact. It's very common among sexually active adults. It can enter the body through the vagina or the urethra. Ureaplasma can also be passed from mother to child.

What are the symptoms of Ureaplasma? ›

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.

Is Ureaplasma only sexually transmitted? ›

Only abstaining from sexual contact can prevent Ureaplasma transmission. But, some people may have Ureaplasma colonization without having sex. Ureaplasma is considered an opportunistic bacteria, which means it is found in both healthy people and those with certain diseases.

What causes female Ureaplasma? ›

The mode of transmission for Ureaplasma is through having sexual intercourse with an infected person. According to one study done by the Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2015 some vaginal infections caused by Ureaplasma were found to be much higher in women that had many partners.

Does Ureaplasma mean cheating? ›

As these bacteria may have been present for many years without causing any symptoms, the finding of ureaplasma and mycoplasma on cervical cultures does not in any way indicate infidelity or sexual misconduct.

Is Ureaplasma a big deal? ›

Untreated, a Ureaplasma infection can lead to chronic discomfort, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even complications during pregnancy.

Can a man give a woman Ureaplasma? ›

Ureaplasma Urealyticum, also known as Ureaplasma, is a very small bacterium that both men and women can catch and transmit to each other during sex.

Is Ureaplasma the same as Chlamydia? ›

Background. Although Chlamydia trachomatis is the most commonly reported pathogen that causes urogenital infection such as urethritis or cervicitis, Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum, which are commensals in the genital tract, have also now been recognized as contributors to urogenital infection.

Is Ureaplasma the same as UTI? ›

Rare bacterial causes of UTIs include Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis, which are typically harmless organisms.

Does mycoplasma mean cheating? ›

It doesn't mean your partner has been cheating, but rather that one of you has had it all along and just didn't know. If you're experiencing symptoms and think you have MG, speak to your GP. They'll have to rule out other possible infections before testing for mycoplasma.

Is Ureaplasma the same as BV? ›

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

How long does Ureaplasma take to go away? ›

How Long Does It Take for Ureaplasma to Go Away with Antibiotics? It will take around 7 days for antibiotics to cure ureaplasma, but during the course of antibiotics, you should avoid sexual contact. The preferred antibiotics for ureaplasma are Azithromycin or Doxycycline.

Can Ureaplasma come back after being treated? ›

Antibiotics are effective in 70% of men with ureaplasma. In 30% of men, one course of antibiotics does not cure the infection, or the infection may come back within a few days to a few weeks after treatment.

Can you have Ureaplasma for years without knowing? ›

A large percentage of sexually active adults are infected with Ureaplasma without any symptoms, but they can pass it on to others. In some men and women, Ureaplasma urealyticum (U. urealyticum) can cause significant urinary problems. Ureaplasma has also been implicated as a cause of infertility.

Does my partner need to be treated if I have Ureaplasma? ›

Both the patient and their partner should be tested and treated at the same time. Sexual partners should abstain from sex or use condoms until both test negative for Ureaplasma infection.

Can Ureaplasma make you tired? ›

In addition, ureaplasma may increase the risk of infertility in males. Females with ureaplasma infection may experience lower abdominal pain and/or pain in the genitals. They may also have painful urination and fatigue.

Does probiotics help Ureaplasma? ›

Furthermore, patients treated with probiotics showed limited growth of Ureaplasma parvum compared with the control group (P = 0.021). Conclusions: This study points to a possible protective effect of probiotic supplements on the vaginal microbiota.

What type of STD is Ureaplasma? ›

Ureaplasma is a bacterium that can be passed through sexual contact although it is not considered a classic STI or STD because of its low degree of pathogenicity. The two species are Parvum and Urealyticum.

How long does it take for Ureaplasma to show up? ›

So long as the bacteria are present in the urine sample or on the swab (which they will be if you are infected and you take the sample as directed) then this test will produce a positive result. The Ureaplasma test results normally take 36 hours to process.

Can a man give a woman Ureaplasma? ›

Ureaplasma Urealyticum, also known as Ureaplasma, is a very small bacterium that both men and women can catch and transmit to each other during sex.

How long does Ureaplasma take to go away? ›

How Long Does It Take for Ureaplasma to Go Away with Antibiotics? It will take around 7 days for antibiotics to cure ureaplasma, but during the course of antibiotics, you should avoid sexual contact. The preferred antibiotics for ureaplasma are Azithromycin or Doxycycline.

Does mycoplasma mean cheating? ›

It doesn't mean your partner has been cheating, but rather that one of you has had it all along and just didn't know. If you're experiencing symptoms and think you have MG, speak to your GP. They'll have to rule out other possible infections before testing for mycoplasma.

Videos

1. Mycoplasma & Ureaplasma: Are These Bacteria Causing Your Bladder Pain / Pelvic Pain?
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2. Bacterial vaginosis, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, DIagnosis and Treatment.
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3. Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma
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4. My Awful Experience with Ureaplasma urealyticum Infection
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6. The Reason I Haven't Been Able to Get Pregnant for 6 Years + Adoption UPDATE!
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