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Ureaplasma Urealyticum

The ureaplasma infection, symptoms and treatment available in the UK

Whilst ureaplasma urealyticum isn't officially classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), the most common cause is sexual contact with around 70% of sexually active people in the UK contracting it at some point in their lives. Also similar to STIs, ureaplasma urealyticum is often completely symptomless however should always be treated to avoid long-term complications. Luckily one course of highly effective medication can completely cure the infection.

Dr Hilary Jones Dr Hilary Jones
OnlineClinic Medical Advisor

"STIs can cause long-term complications if they are not treated. Taking the right medication is vital."

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    • Antibiotic medication to cure chlamydia, NSU and ureaplasma
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What is ureaplasma urealyticum?

Despite being spread by sexual contact the vast majority of the time, ureaplasma urealyticum isn't officially classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). A bacterial infection, ureaplasma urealyticum is very contagious leading to the high amount of sexually active people in the UK contracting it and often has no symptoms whatsoever, highlighting the importance of getting tested.

Both men and women can contract ureaplasma urealyticum, however a medical professional might refer it to differently. For men, it can be confused with urethritis and in women, genital tract infection.

Ureaplasma urealyticum causes

Ureaplasma urealyticum is caused by genital mycoplasma that thrives in the genital tract resulting in a bacterial infection. Sometimes, symptoms may reveal themselves but for the majority, it is asymptomatic meaning it can be spread further and further without detection. Key causes involve close contact such as:

  • Sexual intercourse (Vaginal, oral and anal)
  • Saliva or rarely though nose or eyes
  • Blood transfusions (needles for example)
  • Through the air

It is particularly rare to catch ureaplasma urealyticum through the air, nose or eyes, with the vast majority of people infected through sexual contact.

Ureaplasma urealyticum symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms of ureaplasma urealyticum, these tend to be the same between men and women:

  • Unusual discharge
  • Pain when urinating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Urethrorrhoea (urethra blood flow)

Treating ureaplasma urealyticum

It is important to treat ureaplasma urealyticum as soon as you find out you're infected as it can cause long-term complications in the future such as infertility, non-specific urethritis, meningitis, pneumonia and premature or still-births in pregnant women. It can also start to affect your joints, nerves and muscles.

Luckily, it is completely curable with the right medication.


The only effective treatment for ureaplasma urealyticum is in the form of antibiotics that will completely cure the condition when taken correctly. As with any course of antibiotics, you must always finish all tablets as instructed by a doctor, even if symptoms disappear during the timeframe.

  • Azithromycin
  • Doxycycline

Azithromycin is taken as a single dosage whilst Doxycycline is taken over a week. Both are highly effective at treating ureaplasma urealyticum.

When taking antibiotics, or any treatment for sexual infections and STIs, it is highly recommended that you refrain from sex until the course is complete and you are clear from infection.

Treating any infection will not only eliminate further health problems and alleviate symptoms, if you're experiencing any, but it can reduce any stress or worry you may feel having the infection, allowing you to enjoy your sex life to the fullest. It also avoids the possibility of spreading this highly contagious infection further afield.

Preventing ureaplasma urealyticum

Preventing an infection like ureaplasma urealyticum before getting infected can be done, despite the contagious nature of the infection. One of the simpliest ways is to practise safe sex by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Use barrier contraception such as condoms
  • Getting tested at the STI Clinic or GUM Clinic periodically
  • Avoid sharing sex toys, especially if they haven't been cleaned thoroughly

Minimal sexual partners can help reduce the chances of contracting ureaplasma urealyticum, as well as other sexual infections and STIs, however it only takes one encounter to be infected.

Buying treatment

Ureaplasma urealyticum is highly contagious and particularly common amongst sexually active adults, however being a bacterial infection, it can be completely cured with a course of antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe either Azithromycin or Doxycycline to be taken as instructed. Instead of obtaining it in person, you can buy treatment online here after a quick free consultation. Based on your symptoms, or test result, our doctors can prescribe the correct treatment for you.

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