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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
Ureaplasmosis is a type of mycoplasmosis, an infectious disease caused by excessive activity of small microorganisms that occupy an intermediate position between viruses and bacteria.
Despite the fact that ureaplasma is classified as conditionally pathogenic microorganisms that can live in the urogenital tract for a long time without causing any changes, under the influence of certain internal or external factors, their activity can increase sharply. And then, seemingly harmless microbes become a serious enemy, capable of inflicting a blow on the sly and triggering chronic inflammatory processes.
How to find out if ureaplasmas are present in the body?
Sexually transmitted, ureaplasmas may not manifest themselves for a long time, especially in women with good immunity and the absence of concomitant urogenital infections. But this does not mean that it is not necessary to diagnose the presence of infection: if in healthy patients the presence of a certain amount of ureaplasmas in the natural biological environment of internal organs is the norm, then a decrease in immunity caused by hypothermia, stress or a cold can create fertile soil for active reproduction and rapid activity of microorganisms.
As a result, "from scratch" develops vaginitis with pathological discharge, inflammation of the urethra, soreness of the uterus and appendages. A routine examination is not enough, so the gynecologist, if any urogenital infection is suspected, should send the patient to the laboratory.
There are several methods of laboratory diagnostics to detect the presence of ureaplasmas in a woman's body. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method is considered quite accurate, since it is based on the detection of DNA or RNA fragments of the desired microorganism. With PCR, it is possible to establish with high accuracy the presence of uninvited guests, but it is difficult to assess their activity.
Sometimes they resort to bacterial culture (culture analysis method). By placing the material, for which scraping is taken from the genitals and urethra, into a nutrient medium, it is possible not only to reveal the ureaplasma, but also to determine the concentration of these insidious microorganisms in 1 ml of secretions.
Other research methods are also used, but in most cases the doctor insists on several analyzes:
- A blood test for antibodies to the pathogen;
- General analysis of urine;
- Bacteriological examination of secretions with bacterial smear;
- PCR diagnostics of secretions.
How is the analysis for ureaplasma taken in women?
Despite the presence in the arsenal of modern doctors of such powerful diagnostic tools as PCR diagnostics, it can be difficult to obtain reliable data - both false-positive and false-negative results are far from uncommon. Preparation for the analysis plays an important role: in order to avoid a false negative result, it is necessary not to take antibiotics that are active against ureaplasmas (including in the form of douching and suppositories) for at least a month before taking the material, and before taking a smear from the urethra, do not urinate for 1 hour.
A false-positive test result for ureaplasma in women is possible if the sample is contaminated when the material is transferred to the laboratory or when a dead (therefore, harmless) pathogen is removed after a course of antibiotic treatment. Therefore, be sure to inform your doctor about the medications you have been taking or have taken in the recent past, and about your general health.
After appropriate preparation for the analysis for ureaplasma in women, blood is taken from a vein and scrapings from the walls of the vagina, from the cervix and from the urethra.
Sometimes, if the inflammatory process is localized in the deep parts of the genitourinary system (for example, in the fallopian tubes or ovaries), the results of the analysis for ureaplasma in a woman will be normal, since the material is taken from the external genital organs. In this case, a combination of several methods of laboratory diagnostics in combination with a repeated examination after 1-2 weeks increases the accuracy of the study.
Tests for ureaplasma in women: interpretation of the results
Having received the results of laboratory tests on the hands, one can immediately say whether the causative agent of the infection has been identified. If all indicators are normal, a corresponding mark is put on the form.
When the problem is nevertheless identified, this is indicated by:
- ELISA analysis shows the presence of specific immunoglobulins in the blood - a positive result indicating the type of antibodies (M or G);
- In the decoding of the PCR analysis - the amount of the pathogen in a concentration exceeding 10 * 4 (ten to the fourth degree).
Who needs to be tested for ureaplasmosis?
First of all - for women suffering from chronic colpitis, inflammation of the uterus and appendages, menstrual disorders, urethritis and pyelonephritis, as well as infertility and miscarriage. When planning a pregnancy, even a woman who feels well needs to play it safe: an infection that does not manifest itself in any way can be transmitted to a child during childbirth or become a serious obstacle to conceiving and carrying a pregnancy.
Statistics show that pregnancy in women suffering from ureaplasmosis often ends with spontaneous miscarriages in the early stages or the birth of premature babies. Passing through the birth canal, the child in about 40-50% of cases picks up an infection, which later manifests itself as inflammation of the bladder, vagina, fallopian tubes and other organs.
Having identified the problem in a timely manner, you can be treated before pregnancy and prevent unwanted developments.
What if the transcript of the analysis of a pregnant patient clearly indicates the presence of ureaplasma? The attending physician (obstetrician-gynecologist) should prescribe antibiotic treatment after the 22nd week of pregnancy (when they will not harm the fetus) to minimize the risk of premature birth and infection of the baby.
If for any reason you doubt the reliability of the data obtained, you can always undergo the diagnosis again or submit the material to several different laboratories.
Knowing how to properly take an analysis for ureaplasma, a woman can prepare in advance for the procedure and thereby minimize the likelihood of receiving false positive or false negative results.