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
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:
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.
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.
Mycoplasma are smallest living organisms that are found on the surfaces of mucous membranes. They can cause chronic inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system, urogenital tract and joints. Mycoplasma infection spreads through air or direct contact. Coughing, spitting and sneezing by infected persons leads to spread of infection. It can lead to sore throat, bronchitis and pneumonia. Typical symptoms of mycoplasma infection include fever, cough, bronchitis, sore throat and headache. A person suffering from mycoplasma infection experiences extreme fatigue. Blood tests and chest x-rays aid in diagnosing mycoplasma infection. If mycoplasma pneumonia is suspected, x-ray of the lungs is taken. Usually mycoplasma infection clears up by itself. But if it causes pneumonia, suitable antibiotics will be prescribed. Antibiotics such as erythromycin or tetracycline are used to treat this condition.
The medical term for cloudy, frothy and foul smelling pus in the urine is pyuria. It means the presence of significantly elevated level of white blood cells (leukocytes) in urine. White blood cells work with the immune system to defend against infectious diseases. A small number of white blood cells are normally present in the urine. But elevated levels indicate urinary tract problems signaling possible damage to the kidneys, ureters, urethra or bladder, inflammation or a contaminant.
Pyuria can be symptomatic or asymptomatic. Pyuria due to bacterial infection is symptomatic unless partially treated. Pyuria is asymptomatic when related to chronic infection from tuberculosis or mycoplasma, long-time indwelling catheters, inflammatory conditions like hemorrhagic cystitis, tubulointerstital nephritis or chronic prostatitis in men, or a contaminant such as vaginal secretions, vaginitis, cystocele etc. Asymptomatic pyuria goes away on its own, even without treatment.
Time to test
The test is done when individuals notice symptoms and seek medical attention. A physical examination is followed by laboratory urine test for pyuria urinalysis. If the test indicates pyuria, a culture of urine is suggested to detect the strain of bacteria that causes pyuria. To detect kidney abnormalities or infection, an intravenous pyelogram or ultrasound imaging of kidney is done. The presence of more than 3-5 white blood cells per high power field in the spun urine confirms pyuria.
Urinary tract infection: The chance of urinary tract infection is high in men and women who are diabetic. As the urethra in women is comparatively shorter than men, it is easier for microorganisms to enter the female urinary tract and cause infection which increases the chance of women contracting urinary tract infection.
Sexually transmitted diseases: Men and women with sexually transmitted diseases are prone to pyuria.
Other causes: Other causes can be infectious or non-infectious.
Non infectious: Medications, advanced age, pregnancy, tumors either benign or malignant can cause pus in the urine. Any other underlying problem in the kidney can also result in excessive levels of white cells in the urine.
The cause for pyuria determines treatment. For urinary tract infections, doctors prescribe antibiotic medicines. If the cause is due to sexually transmitted diseases, hygiene and other precautionary measures is recommended. Drinking plenty of water, juices sans sugar, avoiding fried foods, practicing good hygiene, not delaying for too long the urgency to urinate are proven precautionary measures of pyuria.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: June 25, 2022