What is Mycoplasma hominis?

Mycoplasma hominis is a common mollicute bacteria, present in almost all humans in the urinary tract. However, it can sometimes cause infection which can be transmitted sexually. It is different from other STIs, in that monogamous couples can suddenly experience mycoplasma hominis even after years of exclusivity. The symptoms of a Mycoplasma hominis infection are similar to many other STIs and the condition can often be mistaken for gonorrhoea or chlamydia. You can also have mycoplasma hominis and not experience any symptoms at all.

How common is Mycoplasma hominis?

Mycoplasma hominis affects up to 50% of sexually active males and females. The bacterium is present in almost everyone’s urinary tract in small quantities. Higher quantities cause the infection which can be transmitted sexually.

How is Mycoplasma hominis passed on?

The bacteria present in (almost) everyone’s urinary tract in small quantities. However, in higher quantities it can cause infection which can be transmitted sexually. People with suppressed immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or who have recently undergone an organ transplant, are more likely to contract this STI.

  • Unprotected vaginal sex
  • Sharing sex toys
  • From an infected mother to her child during birth

What are the complications of Mycoplasma hominis?

Mycoplasma hominis infection can cause urethritis and increases the risk of vaginitis and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women. It is particularly harmful for people who are immunocompromised, e.g. those with HIV/AIDS or those on immunosuppressant drug therapy.

Mycoplasma hominis can also increase the risk of contracting HIV infection if having sexual intercourse with an infected person, and may promote a shorter time period before the development of AIDS symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Mycoplasma hominis?

Mycoplasma hominis symptoms can be very similar to that of many other STIs including chlamydia and gonorrhoea, so can sometimes be mistaken for these. A mycoplasma hominis infection in the urinary tract often causes painful urination for both men and women. However, many people do not experience any symptoms at all.

Symptoms of Mycoplasma hominis in men

  • Discharge from the penis (often foul smelling)
  • A burning sensation during urination

Symptoms of Mycoplasma hominis in women

  • Discharge from the vagina
  • Pain or burning feeling during urination
  • Continuous pain during sex
  • Vaginal itching

Rarer symptoms seen in immune-compromised people include joint pain and respiratory problems, including pneumonia.

How long does it take for symptoms of Mycoplasma hominis to appear?

Most people with mycoplasma hominis do not experience any symptoms at all. It is therefore difficult to know if you have the infection. Comprehensive testing from Confidante can provide peace of mind.

What happens if Mycoplasma hominis is left untreated?

Mycoplasma hominis infection can cause urethritis and increases the risk of vaginitis and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women. It is particularly harmful for people who are immune-compromised, e.g. those with HIV/AIDS or those on immunosuppressant drug therapy.

Mycoplasma hominis can also increase the risk of contracting HIV infection if having sexual intercourse with an infected person, and may promote a shorter time period before the development of AIDS symptoms

Can I be cured of Mycoplasma hominis?

Antibiotics, combined with rest, will help most people recover from a Mycoplasma hominis infection.

You should seek advice from your doctor regarding your individual circumstances, and to reduce the risk of any long term health complications resulting from the infection.

How often do you need to test for Mycoplasma hominis?

As mycoplasma hominis will not always present with symptoms it is important to get tested if you suspect you may be at risk. Regular sexual health screening will detect this and other STIs. A comprehensive STI screen is recommended once a year or with every change of partner.

Who is at risk of Mycoplasma hominis?

All sexually active individuals are at risk of mycoplasma hominis. In order to reduce risk of getting mycoplasma hominis practice safe sex by always using a condom every time you have sex. The risk increases with the number of changes in sexual partner also.

Where can I get a test for Mycoplasma hominis?

At Yourhealthfirst Clinic tests for 10 STIs at the same time, including mycoplasma hominis.

How reliable is the Mycoplasma hominis test?

Mycoplasma hominis is included as one of the ten STIs that YHF Clinic tests for simultaneously. Our STIs is a cutting-edge testing procedure that uses molecular diagnostics that far exceed other STI tests currently available. The test screens for multiple STI pathogens to identify specific viral, protozoan or bacterial pathogens.

How is Mycoplasma hominis treated?

Mycoplasma hominis can be treated with antibiotics. It is important to remember that mycoplasma hominis is different to other STIs, so you should seek advice from your doctor regarding your individual circumstances for treatment. If your results are positive, contact your GP for treatment.