Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma

Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma

When you complain of burning on urination, feeling like you have to urinate all the time, getting up in the night to urinate or having urgency to urinate when your bladder is full because it hurts so much, you usually have a urinary tract infection. Sometimes, your doctor will order a culture and if the culture grows no bacteria, that usually means no infection or that you have interstitial cystitis.

Your doctor should know that chlamydia, mycoplasma and ureaplasma bacteria cannot be found on routine cultures. As many as 50 percent of women with chronic urinary tract infections culture out a bacteria called Ureaplasma, and can be cured by taking either tetracycline or erythromycin antibiotics or both. What happens too often is that women donît know they have it.

Generally, many women can be cured when they and their partners take ahe antibiotics Azithromycin or doxycycline, and if that fails, a quinolone antibiotic. Microplasma and Ureaplasma Urealyticum are bacterial infections, often without symptoms, that is sexually transmitted between partners. The bacteria can survive in the reproductive tract for any years, undetected, until a patient is specifically tested for the infection.

Who needs the test?

Every woman who experiences infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, pelvic pain, premenstrual symptoms or vaginal symptoms should be tested for ureaplasma urealyticum. The bacterial infection, although generally asymptomatic, can lead to fertility problems including tubal disease, recurrent miscarriages, decreased sperm motility and count, and poor post coital tests.

How is the test performed?

The test is generally performed during a routine examination. The physician or nurse practitioner will perform the test, which is familiar to a pap test. A culture sample is collected from the reproductive tract and sent to the laboratory for testing. Results are received from the lab in approximately 10 days.

What is the treatment?

Treatment involves both partners simultaneously taking antibiotics prescribed by the physician to specifically treat this infection. Fourteen days or more after completing the medication, the patient receives a repeat culture (test). If the culture returns positive again, it may be necessary to administer treatment with alternative antibiotics. Ninety percent of infections are effectively treated with the first course of antibiotics.

What else do I need to know?

Many infected people do not take medication long enough to be cured, or they may have a close contact with an infected person and become reinfected. Once these infections are allowed to persist for months or years, they can become are extraordinarily difficult to cure and often require treatment for many months. Usually your first symptoms from ureaplasma and mycoplasma are burning on urination, a feeling that you have to urinate all the time, terrible discomfort when the bladder is full and vaginal itching, odor or discharge. Other first symptoms include itchy eyes, a cough or a burning in your nose. You can be infected when an infected person coughs in your face, or you touch nasal or eye secretions from an infected person and put your finger in your nose or eye.

Your chances for a cure are high if you are treated when you have only local symptoms; but after many months, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and make you sick or damage nerves, joints and muscles. If you feel sick and your doctor is unable to make a diagnosis because all laboratory tests and cultures fail to reveal a cause, you could be infected with mycoplasma, chlamydia or ureaplasma and can be cured only by taking long-acting erythromycin or tetracyclines for many months.

Journal Articles:

A Yuce, M Yucesoy, K Yucesoy, T Canda, M Fadiloglu, A Gure, N Yulug. Ureaplasma urealyticum induced urinary tract stones in rats. Urological Research 24: 6 (DEC 1996):345-348.

PA Gurr, A Chakraverty, V Callanan, SJ Gurr. The detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in nasal polyps. Clinical Otolaryngology 21: 3 (JUN 1996):269-273.

L Cirasino, A Marccotti, C Barosi, F Massaro, A Silvani. Misdiagnosis of post-traumatic splenic rupture in a patient with acute cold agglutinin disease due to Mycoplasma infection. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 29: 5(1997):522-524.

JM Potts, AM Ward, RR Rackley. Association of chronic urinary symptoms in women and Ureaplasma urealyticum. Urology, 2000, Vol 55, Iss 4, pp 486-489.

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