Why Health Agencies Around The World Are Worried About Mycoplasma Genitalium

Why Health Agencies Around The World Are Worried About Mycoplasma Genitalium

Most people know that the HPV rates among sexually active adults are fairly high and there is a new super gonorrhea bug that’s making it difficult to treat some gonorrhea cases.

However, the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (or BASHH) said a new worrisome STD is making its way in the public – Mycoplasma genitalium.

While the MG bacteria was first seen in the 1980s, the BASHH said it could become an antibiotic-resistant bacteria because so little is known about it. The agency came up with some MG guidelines that they hope will bring some awareness to the STD as well as the symptoms and effects it can produce. What should know about the MG STD?

Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted disease that leads to inflammation in the penis’ urethra and a discharge. When the bacteria enters the vagina, it can inflame the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing bleeding, pain and fever. Women could also become infertile.

MG symptoms include bleeding, discharge and painful urination. The STI is tricky because in many cases there are no symptoms. When there are symptoms, most doctors mistake it for chlamydia or another STI, which means the wrong treatment is used. It’s not uncommon for a person to have both MG and another STI at the same time, and since it’s not a well-known disease, it’s not routinely tested for. In fact, most people would need to request getting tested for it or use an alternative at-home option such as the myLAB testing kit.

The primary way to reduce the spread of MG is to use a condom each time you have sex.

Why Is It So Important To Understand The MG STD Better?

For the last 15 years, MG has been largely ignored. Although antibiotics can be used, many strains of MG are or will become antibiotic-resistant (similar to some gonorrhea strains). The British Association said 40 percent of MG cases could be effectively treated.

By sticking one’s head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist means the MG bacteria could become a superbug, which means no antibiotics will be able to clear up the infection. It’s important that resources go toward the development of diagnostic testing to detect people (especially women) who have MG before they become infertile.

Written by Mark Riegel, MD

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