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What is Mycoplasma Genitalium & How is it Treated? | Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis of Mycoplasma Genitalium

What is Mycoplasma Genitalium?

Mycoplasma genitalium is a type of bacterial infection that is transmitted sexually. It is also known as M gentalium or Mgen. Mycoplasma genitalium is known to cause 40% of persistent or recurrent infections of the urethra in men, the tube from which the urine and semen are moved out of the body.(1) It can cause urethral discharge and burning with urination.

In females the risk of infection doubles which increases the risk of preterm delivery, infertility, and more. Mycoplasma genitalium can lead to vaginal itching, burning with urination, and bleeding of the skin around the vagina.

Causes of Mycoplasma Genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted illness and can lead to infection through vaginal and anal sex and genital contact. It is known to be easily more transmissible than chlamydia.(2)

There are also chances of oral to genital transmission. Studies are being done on whether there is a potential for transmission of mycoplasma genitalium from mother to child during pregnancy or delivery.

There are certain factors that can put a person at risk of mycoplasma genitalium, including:

  • Having sex without protection
  • Having a recent history of chlamydia infection
  • Living with HIV or AIDS
  • Having multiple sexual partners

Symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium mostly does not cause any symptoms and also the symptoms clear off without any treatment.

Sometimes as the symptoms appear they are nonspecific and can easily be mistaken for other sexually transmitted infections.

The symptoms of mycoplasma genitalium in males include the symptoms of urethritis and infection of the urethra.(3) These include:

  • Painful and burning urination
  • Urethral discharge
  • Itching in penis

In females the symptoms of Mycoplasma genitalium include:

How to Diagnose Mycoplasma Genitalium?

There are none of the tests approved for diagnosing mycoplasma genitalium, which makes it difficult to diagnose this condition. Mycoplasma genitalium is doubted after the treatment for other common sexually transmitted disease fail. A nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) can help detect genetic material that makes up the virus, like mycoplasma genitalium.(4) The sample for this test can be a urine sample or a vaginal swab.

Treatment for Mycoplasma Genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium can get resistant to antibiotics including moxifloxacin, macrolide, or azithromycin. This can result in a stronger and more resistant strain that can get very difficult to treat.

If the resistance testing is available and:

  • A person is macrolide-sensitive, doxycycline followed by azithromycin can be given
  • If a person is a macrolide-resistant, doxycycline followed by moxifloxacin can be given
  • If resistance testing is not available and:
  • Mycoplasma genitalium is detected by NAAT, doxycycline followed by moxifloxacin can be given

If a person is detected with mycoplasma genitalium, his/her sexual partners should also be tested even if there are no symptoms experienced.

As this condition carries a risk of preterm birth and premature rupture of membranes, pregnant females who think that they has contacted mycoplasma genitalium infection, should consult a physician immediately.

Outlook for People with Mycoplasma Genitalium

Most people with mycoplasma genitalium remain asymptomatic and in most the symptoms would not require any treatment and would clear up without any complication. Some may have a persistent infection that might last for as long as 7 months.(5)

If Mycoplasma genitalium is left untreated in females it can lead to infertility because of chronic inflammation, swelling, and scarring of the fallopian tube. However, more research is needed to look for the long-term effect of an untreated mycoplasma genitalium infection.

Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacteria that causes sexually transmitted infection. If not naturally cleared, it is treated with antibiotics. As the bacterium becomes resistant to antibiotics, the doctors have to change the regimen to combat the infection. Also, just as with any sexually transmitted disease using a protective barrier such as a condom is necessary with mycoplasma gentalium to decrease the risk of infection.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 22, 2022

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