Ureaplasma infections are caused by tiny bacteria that enter the body. The bacteria, which act much like a virus, can live in the body without causing any discomfort and can exist without your knowledge, according to The Cleveland Clinic. The bacteria are spread through mucus-type bodily fluids. The infection is curable and treated with antibiotics. Untreated ureaplasma is associated with meningitis, infertility and pneumonia.
Having unprotected sexual contact spreads the bacteria. Up to 70 percent of sexually active couples are affected by ureaplasma, according to the Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinic. The bacteria that cause ureaplasma infections can also live in the body for a long period before symptoms show up.
Having non-sexual contact with another person's bodily fluids also spreads the ureaplasma bacteria. The bacteria can live in respiratory tracts and travel from person to person through a cough or sneeze. The bacteria, though, do not typically live in the bloodstream except in cases of people with immune system disorders, according to Medscape Reference.
Check yourself for symptoms including abdominal pain, pain during urination, unusual discharges or bleeding. These symptoms are most commonly associated with ureaplasma, although the infection is often symptomless.
Get tested for ureaplasma. The test is not a standard test performed by a general practitioner or gynecologist and must be requested. The Cleveland Clinic recommends that an infected person and his or her sexual partners all undergo treatment.