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What is Mycoplasma genitalium?
Mycoplasma genitalium is a lesser known STI but is very common. It has similarities to both chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Most infections of mycoplasma genitalium do not show any symptoms and therefore, it is difficult to know if you have it without being tested.
How common is Mycoplasma genitalium?
As mycoplasma genitalium frequently occurs together with other STIs, it can be difficult to diagnose without being tested comprehensively. Studies have indicated that it is prevalent in 1% of the U.S adolescent population.
How is Mycoplasma genitalium passed on?
Mycoplasma genitalium is passed on through unprotected sexual contact. This can be through vaginal, anal and oral sex.
What are the complications of Mycoplasma genitalium?
Like most STIs, mycoplasma genitalium can lead to other, more serious conditions. It is the main cause of nongonococcal urethritis in men – chlamydia can also cause this. Mycoplasma genitalium is the bacterium that has been found in association with bacterial vaginosis in women. The long term complications are very similar to chlamydia and gonorrhoea, including pelvic inflammatory disease and endometritis in women.
What are the Symptoms of Mycoplasma genitalium?
Mycoplasma genitalium often does not show any symptoms. But if it does, you may experience the following.
Symptoms of mycoplasma genitalium in men:
- Discharge from the penis
- Pain when urinating
Symptoms of mycoplasma genitalium in women:
- Discharge from the vagina
- Pain during sex
- Pain when urinating
- Itching around the vagina
Rarer symptoms seen in immune-compromised people include joint pain and respiratory problems, including pneumonia.
How long does it take for symptoms of mycoplasma genitalium to appear?
Symptoms of mycoplasma genitalium usually develop within 1 to 3 weeks of infection.
What happens if mycoplasma genitalium is left untreated?
If left untreated, mycoplasma genitalium can lead to more serious complications.
In males it can lead to:
- Prostatitis – inflammation or infection of the prostate gland
- Epididymitis – swollen and painful testicles
- Non-gonococcal urethritis – inflammation of the urethra that is not caused by gonorrhoeal infection.
In women it may lead to:
- Cervicitis – inflammation or infection of the cervix
- Urethritis – inflammation of the urethra
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Bacterial vaginosis – inflammation and production of unpleasant discharge
- Endometriosis – womb lining growing on other organs outside of the womb
- Premature birth
Can I be cured of mycoplasma genitalium?
Early diagnosis can result in effective treatment.
How often do you need to test for Mycoplasma genitalium?
If you have had a sexual encounter that has given you cause for concern, for example, if it was unprotected sex, you should test for mycoplasma genitalium. As there are often no symptoms, you may not know you have it until further complications arise. A comprehensive STI screen is recommended once a year or with every change of partner.
Who is at risk of mycoplasma genitalium?
All sexually active individuals are at risk of mycoplasma genitalium. It is spread via unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex. In order to reduce your risk of mycoplasma genitalium, practice safe sex by using a condom every time you have sex.
Where can I get a test for mycoplasma genitalium?
Yourhealthfirst tests for 10 STIs at the same time, including mycoplasma genitalium.
How reliable is the mycoplasma genitalium test?
Mycoplasma genitalium is included as one of the ten STIs that YHF tests for simultaneously. Our STI tests 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 genitalium treated?
If your results are positive, contact your GP for treatment. Mycoplasma genitalium can be treated with antibiotics. This infection has been known to quickly build up a resistance to antibiotics so it is important that you complete the full course and abstain from sex until it has cleared.