Not-So Known STD Infection Could Lead To Infertility In Women

Not-So Known STD Infection Could Lead To Infertility In Women

An array of UK news outlets have reported a rise in a new sex infection called Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), and it may actually be antibiotic resistant.

The recent news comes on the heels from the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV’s latest guidelines regarding the improvement of identifying and treatment MG. Still, it’s important to understand what MG is, what symptoms are associated with the disease and if it’s a great concern to those outside the United Kingdom.

MG infections, if left untreated, could result in a superbug, resistant to both first and second line antibiotics. It’s a bacterial infection that’s passed via sex. The bacteria live inside the genital and urinary tracts, causing problems with the body’s urinary system.

MG can cause pelvic pain and cervix inflammation, known as cervicitis in women. Women who experience cervicitis may have pain during sexual intercourse, after-sex bleeding and abnormal discharge. With PID, women may have heavy vaginal discharge, abnormal uterine bleeding, odd smell and fever.

In worst cases, it can make women unable to have children (infertile).

For men, the disease causes inflammation of the urethra. Its symptoms include burning and pain during urination and penile discharge.

There are some instances where there are no symptoms of the disease.

The disease was first noticed in the 1980s but is not widely known in the U.S. compared to other STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. A report from the CDC in 2015 shows MG is far more common than the gonorrhea bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Oluwatosin Jaiyeoba Goje with the Cleveland Clinic said the frequency of the MG infection is particularly concerning since most people have no idea they’re infected. There may be no identifying symptoms of the disease, which could lead to various health problems and later be classified as a superbug.

Doctors can treat MG with antibiotics but researchers are finding that the treatment can fail and lead to drug resistance. The CDC noted in 2015 that MG was going to be problematic.

Studies from the U.S., Australia and Japan show that treatment failure is a real problem with MG and problem for the entire world.

The latest guidelines from the British say doctors may accurately test for the disease, use the right treatment and do follow-ups to ensure the infection doesn’t become a public health crisis and superbug.

Paddy Horner, who helped with the guidelines, said it’s time the public learns about Mycoplasma genitalium and use condoms while having sex with new partners.

Written by Mark Riegel, MD

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