A patient emailed and told me about Ureaplasma urealyticum and that it can effect fertility.  It was rather ironic that I received this email when I did because I had recently read that this bacteria may be associated with miscarriage and poor IVF outcomes.  So a big thank you to the reader who sent it in as this prompted me to finish my research on the topic and get it out to you.

This is still a little controversial yet but it has been shown that the presence of Ureaplasma urealyticum in the male or female can impair fertility.  Mostly this bacteria exists without any symptoms, but occasionally it can be associated with symptoms from a normal Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).  So if you have had a recurring UTI and normal antibiotics aren’t doing it for you, you may want to check with your doctor and ask him/her to test for Ureaplasma urealyticum.

As I said though, this bacteria could be present in both the male and female but experience no signs or symptoms.  So if you have had recurrent pregnancy loss, pelvic pain, premenstrual symptoms or vaginal symptoms you should discuss with your doctor and asked to be tested for ureaplasma urealyticum. The bacterial infection, although generally asymptomatic, can lead to fertility problems including tubal disease, recurrent miscarriagesdecreased sperm motility and count, and poor post coital tests.

This is tested via standard pap tests and can be treated with antibiotics. (Remember your probiotics once you are on antibiotics)  Discuss the best course of action re antibiotics with your doctor.  Ask that both partners be tested as the bacteria can be passed back and forth between the two of you.

copyright Stacey Roberts and Positive Image Publishing