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How Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma are Sexually Transmitted Infections Transmitted?
02 Sep 2019 |

How Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma are Sexually Transmitted Infections Transmitted?

Ureaplasma and mycoplasma are different kinds of bacteria that can be spread from person to person via sexual contact. If left untreated they can cause significant complications, and can affect your overall health. It’s highly recommended to visit a reputed private sexual health clinic to screen for these pathogens, as they are not typically included in routine national health sexual screening programmes.

What Are Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma?

Both of them are:

  • Bacterial organisms
  • Among the smallest free-living organisms.
  • Typically missed in screening
  • One of the most common STDs in the UK

There are four mycoplasma bacteria that may cause human infections such as: 

  • Mycoplasma Pneumoniae–Also called ‘walking’ or atypical pneumonia, it may be contracted by breathing in the infected respiratory fluid. The infection can cause various symptoms such as headache, sore throat, cough, wheezing and fatigue. Most cases are mild and do not lead to pneumonia.
  • Mycoplasma Genitalium–This kind of infection may cause men to suffer from non-chlamydial or non-gonococcal urethritis and women to experience cervicitis.
  • Mycoplasma Hominis –The infection can cause males to experience pain during urination or release discharge from the urethra. It can also be confused with pelvic inflammatory disease or PID which can lead to ectopic pregnancy.
  • Ureaplasma Urealyticum–This kind of urinary tract infection may get contracted through sexual contact and pregnant women may pass the infection to their baby in the womb or at the time of childbirth. The infection does not cause problems in most cases, however, it has been linked with pneumonia, preterm labour, low birth weight and septicaemia.

What Causes a Ureaplasma or Mycoplasma Infection?

Both ureaplasma and mycoplasma infections may be spread through intercourse.

You may contract Ureaplasma or Mycoplasma infection due to direct contact with the bacterium: whether mouth-to-genital or genital-to-genital. According to studies, infectionscan pass from the mother to their baby or during vaginal childbirth.

Those who have a weak immune system are at a higher risk of infection and may need to undergo different course of treatment if an infection is detected.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is usually present in the mucus of your respiratory tract and can spread when infected droplets are inhaled.

What Are the Symptoms of Ureaplasma or Mycoplasma Infection?

For females:

  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Post-coital bleeding
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Urethral discharge
  • Swollen genitalia
  • Atypical Vaginal discharge
  • Pain in the abdomen

For males:

  • Urethritis
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Stinging sensation when passing urine

How Common are these infections?

Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma are found in the lower urogenital tracts of sexually active males and females, and are some of the most commonly missed STDs. Around 1% of the population at any point may have either of these two infections.

How Will You Know if I Have a Ureaplasma or a Mycoplasma Infection?

These infections are usually detected through urine samples or swab tests with samples taken from the penis or the vagina.

What is the Treatment for Ureaplasma or Mycoplasma Infection?

Cases of ureaplasma and mycoplasma infections can be treated by a simple courseof antibiotics.

Many antibiotics work through a method known as peptidoglycan synthesis which means breaking down of bacterial cell walls. However, ureaplasma and mycoplasma cells do not have walls for the antibiotics to attack, and so, they are highly resistant to these kinds of antibiotics.

There are other antibiotics for treating ureaplasma and mycoplasma infections. This is why it’s very important to get properly diagnosed and treated.

How Can You Prevent a Ureaplasma or a Mycoplasma Infection?

You can prevent spreading these pathogens by practicing safe sex, and getting tested before engaging in intercourse with a new partner.  Maintaining good sexual health will reduce the chances of repeat infections and associated complications.

If you are sexually active, it is advised that you undergo STI screening regularly. Screening is necessary as many different STIs are asymptomatic, so you won’t know if you have a disease without getting tested.

In addition, regular STI testing allows you to detect infections quickly which will allow you to begin the treatment right away. If you have had unprotected sex and have come into close contact with an STI, make sure you get tested promptly.

If you have concerns related to a ureaplasma or a mycoplasma infection, give us a call or email today, for quick and non-judgemental testing and treatment.