What is ureaplasma?
Ureaplasma is a small bacterium that belongs to the mycoplasma family and has seventeen identified species of which the ureaplasma urealyticum and ureaplasma parvum bacteria belong. These bacteria are commonly known to colonize the urethra and the vagina which means that you have a very high chance of being infected with the bacteria if you have unprotected sex.
Ureaplasma has a low level of pathogenicity which means that it can exist in the body without causing any problems and without showing any symptoms. However, even though you might have no symptoms, you can still pass on the bacteria that exists in your genitals to your partner. Many adults are infected with this bacteria; however, they do not know it because they do not show any symptoms. However, there are some people who do show symptoms so it is important that you know what these symptoms are so that if you do identify them in yourself or your partner, you can get tested.
Possible Symptoms of ureaplasma
Some possible symptoms of ureaplasma include:
Burning sensation or pain when urinating
Continual but slight pain in the lower abdomen or around the genitals
Inflammation of the prostate gland
Inflammation of the testicles, fallopian tubes and urethra
Effect of Ureaplasma on Fertility
Although ureaplasma rarely causes problems and is not taken seriously by the NHS, doctors are more and more recommending screening for this bacteria as part of sexual health screens and prior to fertility treatment. There has been no proof that the condition has negative effects on normal conception. In fact, it is believed that in the majority of cases, ureaplasma does not prevent normal conception because the uterine cavity in women remain sterile even if the bacteria is present cervical secretions.
However, their effects on fertility in cases of embryo transfer or intrauterine insemination is questionable. The bacteria can be dragged into the uterine cavity through the introduction of the catheter into the uterus. Ureaplasma is known to contaminate and destroy rapidly growing cell structure such as that of the implanted embryo.
It is therefore advisable that couples get tested for this condition before fertility treatment to make sure that it is absent from cervical secretions and semen before an embryo transfer or an intrauterine insemination.
Getting Tested for Ureaplasma
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above or you will soon be going for a fertility treatment, it is advisable that you get tested for ureaplasma. There are now many websites available where testing for this condition can be done privately, including Home Diagnostics. The Home Diagnostics - Ureaplasma Test is recommended for anyone with Genito-Urinary symptoms which include a burning sensation or discharges when urinating. The test is quite simple to use. Once it has been purchased online, it will be sent to you. It includes a sample collection kit and a prepaid envelope. The sample is either a vaginal swab or urine that is then posted back to Home Diagnostics in the prepaid envelope which is then tested in their lab. Within two days, your results will be uploaded to your account with Home Diagnostics. If you are tested positive, it is advisable that you get treatment immediately.
The great thing about sites as Home Diagnostics is that you can get tested privately and in the comfort and convenience of your home. You do not need to feel embarrassed or ashamed to go to your doctor to get tested and even the treatment for ureaplasma can be purchased online if you have been tested positively.
Treatment for Ureaplasma
The two antibiotics available for ureaplasma are: azithromycin and doxycycline. If you are infected, you should not be the only one that is treated. Your partner should be treated as well because if he or she is not treated, the chances of you becoming re-infected are great. It is also important that you stick to one partner. If you or your partner has more than one sexual partners, the risk of becoming re-infected is also very great.
If you are not experiencing any symptoms and if you will not be undergoing any fertility treatments, then you do not need to worry much. If you are healthy, then you can leave these bacteria alone as most sexually people have them and they do not cause any problems. However, if you believe that you may be at risk due to these bacteria, it is advisable that you obtain further information on them, how they affect your health and how they can be treated so that they do not have any adverse effect on your health, especially if you are planning on undergoing fertility treatments.