[Question #6623] Ureaplasma Parvum

12 months ago

Hi there, I recently visited the doctor and was tested for Ureaplasma. I had never heard of this before, and never been tested for it. From what I understand, it is a bacterial infection which can be sexually transmitted and is also treatable. I was not having any symptons. I've been prescribed ten days of doxycycline. 

Since I do not know when I got it, I don't know which partners I have to disclose the infection to. I could have gotten the infection years ago hypothetically. When I learnt I was positive, I was prescribed antibiotics for myself and my partner. I don't have a consistent partner right now as my last two encounters were casual and I'm not planning on sleeping with them again. With both of them, I used a condom, though performed oral sex on both of them and one performed oral sex on me.

Is the Dr suggesting prescribing antibiotics to both of us so that we do not continue to infect each other? I'm not planning on sleeping with either again. I will tell them if necessary, but do not want to cause unnecessary alarm.

Also, how long do I have to wait until I can be sexually active again? On the phone they told me I should come back and test in 6 - 8 weeks. Is it ok to solely wait the ten days of treatment for the doxycycline, and then resume having sex with a condom, or should I wait to ensure I test negative?

Thank you so much!

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
12 months ago
Welcome back to the forum. Thank you for your continued confidence in our services.

I'm sorry you were tested for Ureaplasma. U. urealyticum and U. parvum are closely related bacteria and indeed they are shared by sex partners; in that sense they are sexually transmitted. However, they are normal bacteria in the genital tract and do not need treatment. (I'm not surprised you have no symptoms!) Once in a while, some strains of UU cause nongonococcal urethritis in males, but it isn't certain that even that needs treatment, and it does not cause any known health problems in women. U parvum is not known to ever cause symptoms or disease in either men or women. At any time, half of all sexually active person have UU or UP in their genital tracts. It's entirely normal. Why were you tested? If there is any doubt about STD risks for either you or your partner (perhaps depending on when either of you had other partners), then it was reasonable to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia. But never for ureaplasma.

In your other thread, you indicated you're in a country other than the US. There is more belief in ureaplasma as a cause of STD in some European countries, and probably elsewhere. In those places, some physicians and labs have come to believe treatment is necessary. But trust me on this:  true STD experts understand that ureaplasma does not require treatment. And when treated, it always comes back.

So my advice is to reject your doctor's offer to treat either you or your partner. You should continue your normal and usual sexual practices:  no harm will come on account of your U. parvum.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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12 months ago
Thanks so much for your answer Dr HHH. I'm sorry, I thought I responded earlier but looks like I hit reset instead. I'm now back in the US (this was in NYC), and got tested when I saw a small bump on my vagina which I was worried was herpes (I tested negative, and it turns out it was an ingrown hair). I recently tested negative for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

I think I know the answer to this already, but do I need to let any former partners know I've tested positive? I assume no based on your response and I didn't tell anyone, even though I have had unprotected sex with an ex partner a few months ago. Do I need to tell him? When I tested positive, I was recommended to complete treatment and then return back to test again in two months time - do you think I should even bother doing so if it is no big deal?

Also, I was wondering if there is a risk with unprotected oral sex with a partner getting ureaplasma to their throat? Guessing that does not exist if it only impacts the urethra...

Sorry if these are silly questions!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
12 months ago
These aren't silly questions at all -- but sorry you even need to ask them. For sure don't tell any partners about this. They don't need treatment any more than you do and should not be tested. The only potential outcome would be anxiety for those who might think it's important. You shouldn't take the treatment prescribed and if you do it anyway, there is no need for retesting at 2 months or any other time. Ureaplasma is not known to infect the throat, and not to cause any health problem if it did.---
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