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Mycoplasma Genitalium

Mycoplasma Genitalium refers to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by a pathogenic bacteria of the same name. It affects both men and women. These organisms live in the urinary and genital tracts of humans and attach themselves to the surface of the genital tract and attack the tissue of the host. Though the presence of Mycoplasma genitalium was known 30 years ago, it has been recently identified as STD and extensive research is being carried out to establish the connection between risky sexual behavior and development of Mycoplasma Genitalium. It is also proven that the risk of infection increases for those with multiple sexual partners.


Often, Mycoplasma genitalium in men is associated with urethritis and bacterial vaginosis in women. Cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and Endometriosis are some of the other conditions associated with Mycoplasma genitalium in women. This condition is also known to cause infertility in women. Urethritis in men could also be caused by conditions like gonorrhoea or Chlamydia and hence these conditions are primarily ruled out before probing for Mycoplasma genitalium. Mycoplasma Genitalium Urine Test is recommended for people who have tested negative for other bacterial infections such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea but continue to experience symptoms.


Mycoplasma genitalium does not cause symptoms at the initial stage. It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks for the symptoms to show up. And also, it often occurs in conjunction with other sexually transmitted infections. As the symptoms start to surface, it is advisable to get tested for Mycoplasma genitalium separately along with other STD related diagnostic tests.

Symptoms in men may include


  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Inflammation of urethra

Symptoms in women

Most often, Mycoplasma genitalium in women causes infection in cervix. Bleeding after sex is the most common symptom associated with Mycoplasma genitalium in women. Some of the other symptoms include:


  • Abnormal discharge
  • Cervicitis or inflamed cervix
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bleeding in between periods

Mycoplasma organisms are difficult to culture and identify. Diagnosis of infection is performed using nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). In case of men, the first passed urine and in case of women endocervical/ vaginal swab are collected to conduct test. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a popularly followed NAAT test to detect Mycoplasma genitalium.


Treatment

Mycoplasma genitalium is treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic azithromycin has been generally successful against Mycoplasma genitalium infection. But there are instances where mycoplasma genitalium has developed resistance to azithromycin. Antibiotics like moxifloxacin and doxycycline are also widely recommended to treat the condition.


Precautions


  • Mycoplasma genitalium is sexually transmitted; hence abstinence from sex should be strictly followed during the course of treatment.
  • Both the partners involved should be treated at the same time to avoid recurrence.
  • Test of cure is normally advised after six weeks to assess if the infection has cleared.
  • Usage of condoms is the best practice to prevent not only Mycoplasma genitalium but also other STDs.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 11, 2019