As part of our series spotlighting STI’s, this month we’re looking at Mycoplasma Genitalium.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are an infection that can be passed on between sexual partners during unprotected sexual contact. There are more than 25 STIs which can be spread by vaginal, anal or oral sex.
They are unfortunately common amongst all age groups, which is why it’s important to understand what they are, the symptoms you may experience and how they are treated.
It’s important to start breaking the stigma surrounding STIs by showing that they aren’t something to be embarrassed about and, in most cases, can be very simple and quick to get treated.
So, let’s have a look at what Mycoplasma Genitalium is and what you need to know about it.
What is Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG)?
Mycoplasma Genitalium, or MG for short, is a tiny bacterium that can infect the genital and urinary tracts. It’s a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that often goes under the radar because it doesn’t always show obvious symptoms. Sneaky, right?
Is It Common?
MG might not be as well-known as some other STIs, but it’s more common than you might think. In recent years, it’s been recognised as a significant player in the world of sexual health.
The Challenge of Symptoms: What to Look Out For
One of the trickiest things about MG is that it often doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms. However, when it does, here are some things to watch for:
- Discharge: Unusual discharge from the genitals in both males and females can be a sign.
- Pain or Discomfort: Some people might experience pain or discomfort during urination or sex.
- Bleeding: MG can occasionally lead to bleeding after sex for some individuals.
Testing for MG
At present, in the UK, we do not do routine testing for MG, however private clinics will happily test for a cost. BASHH (British Association for Sexual Health and HIV Testing) testing in individuals with these symptoms below. View more information on the BASHH website here.
Based on symptoms:
- We recommend testing for MG infection in people with non-gonococcal urethritis
- We recommend testing for MG infection in people with signs and symptoms suggestive of pelvic inflammatory disease
- Consider testing for MG infection in people with signs or symptoms of muco-purulent cervicitis, particularly post-coital bleeding
- Consider testing for MG infection in people with epididymitis
- Consider testing for MG infection in people with sexually-acquired proctitis
Based on risk factors:
- We recommend testing current sexual partners of persons infected with MG
Early detection of any STI is key, so don’t hesitate to get tested if you suspect you might be at risk. You are able order free STI kits from our online Personal Health Record portal here. If you are unsure or have any questions, please contact our Navigation Hub: https://essexsexualhealthservice.org.uk/contact/
Treatment for MG
The good news is that MG can usually be treated with antibiotics. However, as with any STI, it’s essential to finish the prescribed course of antibiotics and follow your healthcare provider’s advice. It’s also a good idea to get retested after treatment to ensure the infection is gone.
As with other STIs, prevention is crucial. Here are some steps you can take:
- Safe Sex: Consistently using condoms during sexual activity can reduce the risk of MG transmission. Download the free eC-Card app today to order your free condoms.
- Regular Testing: If you’re sexually active or in a high-risk group, regular STI testing is a responsible way to protect your health.
Mycoplasma Genitalium may not be as well-known as some other STIs, but it’s a common and manageable infection. Understanding the symptoms, getting tested, and following through with treatment are essential steps in maintaining your sexual health.
Remember, regular sexual health check-ups are an important part of being proactive about your well-being. Essex Sexual Health Service is here to provide information, testing, and support to help you stay on top of your sexual health.
For more information and resources, visit the Essex Sexual Health Service website. Stay informed, stay safe, and take care of yourself! 💪 #MycoplasmaGenitalium #SexualHealth #STI #EssexSexualHealth