Ureaplasma urealyticum and ureaplasma parvum are strains of bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections and pelvic inflammation. The presence of the bacteria can also cause no symptoms and go unnoticed in patients. In some patients, the bacteria can lead to painful conditions in both men and women, but it is a rare cause of infection. The condition can pass between men and women in the same manner as a sexually-transmitted disease.
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection
Patients may experience chronic urinary tract infections with the ureaplasma bacteria. Physicians can eliminate the bacteria with antibiotics. In patients who suffer from chronic urinary tract infections, physicians can prescribe an antibiotic and retest patients for the presence of the ureaplasma bacteria. If the bacteria are still present, the physician can prescribe a different antibiotic to treat the condition. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract, causing painful inflammation. The symptoms of a urinary tract infection include the frequent need to urinate without result, painful urination, pelvic pain, cloudy urine and blood in the urine.
According to the Beach Center for Infertility, Endocrinology and IVF, patients who experience infertility should test for the presence of ureaplasma urealyticum. The bacteria is linked to tubal disease and decreased sperm motility, which can cause infertility. Women who experience recurrent miscarriages may also be suffering from a ureaplasma urealyticum infection. Patients may not experience additional symptoms with the infection.
Untreated ureaplasma can result in urethritis in men and women, which is an inflammation of the urethra. The symptoms of the condition include burning upon urination, discharge and blood in the urine. Untreated urethritis can also affect the bladder and reproductive organs.
Urinary Tract Infection Complications
Untreated urinary tract infections can result in kidney damage or permanent renal scarring. An untreated infection may also enter the bloodstream, causing a potentially fatal condition. According to the Mayo Clinic, bacteremia, a bacterial infection in the blood, is a risk factor for sepsis. Sepsis occurs when the immune system damages body tissues in response to infection. Recurrent urinary tract infections do not usually lead to kidney damage, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.