I recently got tested for a whole range of STDs at a private clinic in the UK, where I live. I tested positive only for ureaplasma.
After searching for more information (much of it contradictory) I went to the genito urinary clinic at a hospital here in the UK. Both the doctor and consultant told me they don't even screen for ureaplasma and that it is asymptomatic in women and that many people have it in any case.
Apparently it's only treated in men if symptoms arise, ie urethritis. While at the GUM clinic (two weeks ago) I was tested for urethritis, but this came back negative. But over these last few days I feel some symptoms (my imagination?), not pain my penis but more a slight discomfort in my bladder.
My question is: should I get treated or does ureaplasma-caused urethritis go away on it's own? I understand that there's no point in just myself taking the treatment, but my wife would be extremely reluctant to take antibiotics as she has suffered for years with thrush, possibly brought on by antibiotics taken years ago.
Your confusion is not unique. The importance of Ureaplasma as an STD is widely debated and the subject of ongoing research. It is well known that for many men, the urethra gets colonized with Ureaplasma (and Mycoplasma too for that matter) soon after beginning to have sexual intercourse. Years ago the presence of Ureaplasma was thought therefore to be indicative of STD. More recently, however data have suggested that this is not the case, that ureaplasmas are part of the normal bacteria that come to be present in the urethra and studies have shown that efforts to eliminate them with antibiotic therapy are neither successful. Further, there is no clear evidence that transmission of ureaplasma from one person to another are associated with serious consequences in normal hosts.
In our clinics we do not test routinely for ureaplasma and would not treat it if someone approached us following a positive culture, thus I agree with what the GUM clinicians told you.
In answer to your specific questions:
1. Sometimes after an exposure that, in retrospect, one wishes they had not had, persons tend to examine themselves and be far more attuned to genital sensations than in periods when they are not concerned. This in turn leads to noticing what turn out to be normal sensations that might have been not noticed or ignored at other times. Perhaps this was a contributor to your situation after finding out about the positive culture.
2. I see no point to seeking treatment in the absence of objective clinical findings.
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