| Tara Langdale
here are a lot of sexually transmitted diseases out there, and some are very well known. Yet there are some that might have escaped your radar. One such sexually transmitted disease is mycoplasma genitalium, which we’re betting you haven’t yet heard about. Although it is not fully understood at this time, health officials are now calling your attention to it. We’re here to tell you why.
The thing about mycoplasma genitalium is that it doesn’t cause many symptoms, so it can be pretty tough to detect. However, it isn’t something you will want to ignore if you do have it, so getting checked out is a smart move.
WHAT IS MYCOPLASMA GENITALIUM?
What is currently known about this sexually transmitted disease is that it is a kind of bacteria that can be passed to you during sexual contact via bodily fluids and secretions. Mycoplasma genitalium can be present in your body for years on end without you having any idea about it.
Doctors are now linking the infection to other infections, such as cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix) and pelvic inflammatory disease.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MYCOPLASMA GENITALIUM?
As mycoplasma genitalium symptoms are either subtle or completely absent, you might be wondering how to find out if you have it. We’ll get to that – but for now, here are the things you should look out for:
- Persistent irritation of the vagina
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Spotting between periods
- Bleeding during or after sex
Annoyingly enough, these symptoms can be caused by plenty of other infections or conditions. Some women mistake it for recurrent bacterial vaginosis (BV) or yeast infection (candida albicans overgrowth). There are also many pelvic pain conditions that can may be behind your systems.
If you do suffer with any of the above symptoms, in the absence of a confirmed diagnosis of another condition you may want to be tested for mycoplasma genitalium. That’s because if not detected and treated, this STD can result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which brings a whole new set of issues.
PID generally only occurs when a sexually transmitted infection has been left untreated for a long time. Infections can spread to the reproductive organs and cause inflammation and infertility. The most common infection that causes this is chlamydia, but only a test will confirm either way.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE THIS STD?
Since STD tests have been improving over the years, it is now much easier to detect through testing. The tests for mycoplasma genitalium include taking vaginal cultures or performing urine tests.
If it has come to the point where you’ve developed pelvic inflammatory disease because of mycoplasma genitalium, the chances are your health practitioner will find the bacteria in your cervix or endometrial tissue – perhaps both.
If you catch mycoplasma genitalium in time, you will be able to recover from it before it develops into pelvic inflammatory disease. You’re likely to be prescribed an antibiotic such as azithromycin. If your condition co-exists with cervicitis or pelvic inflammatory disease, you can expect to be given other treatments alongside this.
HOW COMMON IS MYCOPLASMA GENITALIUM?
Due to the improved STD tests, Doctors think that this STD is more common than it initially seemed. Despite this, no studies have been done since 2015, when the International Journal of Epidemiology published one reporting that around 1% of sexually active participants from the UK had the mycoplasma genitalium bacteria. Back in 2007, the American Journal of Public Health published similar numbers after a US study was done.
If you think you might have this sexually transmitted disease, it is important to get tested as soon as possible.