What is it?
Ureaplasma urealyticum is a surprisingly common bacterium that can affect up to 70% of sexually active adults. It's not a widely known STD because many people who have it may never experience any symptoms as a result; although it can cause problems if ureaplasma urealyticum left untreated, leading to infertility and other issues.
Ureaplasma urealyticum is highly contagious and is most commonly spread through unprotected sexual contact, but it can also be passed on through blood, saliva, infected needles, or air. In very extreme cases the infection can be contracted by coming into contact with the eye or nose secretions of an infected person. However, people who have sex with multiple partners are most vulnerable.
What are the most common ureaplasma urealyticum symptoms?
Many people with ureaplasma urealyticum don't always know that they have been infected, because it doesn't cause symptoms. This is why it's a good idea to do a test every year if you are sexually active with multiple partners. Those who do experience ureaplasma urealyticum symptoms may notice lower abdominal pain, pain when urinating, bleeding of the urethra, and an unusual discharge.
If the infection is left untreated, people may start to experience symptoms alerting them of another, more serious conditions such as urethritis (urethral inflammation), chorioamnionitis (inflammation or redness around the genitals accompanied by discharge and pain when urinating), and epididymitis (testicular inflammation).
Is it dangerous?
An untreated infection of ureaplasma urealyticum has been associated with chorioamnionitis, premature labor, still-births, meningitis, pneumonia, and infertility. The infection can also cause lasting damage to other parts of your body, like the nerves, muscles, and joints.
Is there a cure for ureaplasma urealyticum?
The bacteria can easily be killed and removed from your body with a single course of antibiotics like Azithromycin or Doxycycline. These are usually able to help ease symptoms pretty quickly, if you are experiencing them, but it's important that you complete the full course.
Doxycycline should be taken over the course of a week, in a 100mg dose twice a day for seven days. It attacks the bacteria, preventing them from duplicating and eventually causing the infection to be weakened enough so that the immune system can take care of it.
Azithromycin is a more convenient, 1000mg, once-off treatment that works in a similar way to Doxycycline, although it influences the bacterium cell's ability to regenerate itself. This ureaplasma urealyticum treatment is suitable if you aren't likely to develop side effects due to high dosages.