A study released in June 2007 found that infections brought on by a bacterium called Mycoplasma genitalium seem to have surpassed gonorrhea in prevalence to become the third most frequent STD among young men and women in the United States. Among adolescents who engaged in a nationwide medical study, 4.2 percent were infected by chlamydia, 2.3 percent with trichomoniasis, 1.0 percent with M. genitalium, and 0.4 percent with gonorrhea.
Never heard of M. genitalium? You are not alone. Even some physicians weren’t all that comfortable with it. They were not until recently. Then, all of a sudden,”MG” was the latest STD on everybody’s tongue. (Not literally. It just infects the genitals)
What Is M. genitalium?
M. genitalium is a sexually transmitted bacterium. It is the most common cause of nongonococcal urethritis. In girls, MG is usually found in association with bacterial vaginosis; M. genitalium infections can also be associated with cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease. Most M. genitalium infections are curable. Doctors still haven’t determined whether it is worthwhile to screen everybody for infection. Furthermore, as of 2015, there wasn’t an FDA approved test for MG. There are tests which can be used in research settings and large medical facilities. However, it’s far more challenging to find in many configurations.
M. genitalium therapy is done with antibiotics. But many antibiotics, such as penicillin, that function for other infections will not operate on MG. That’s because the cell wall is targeted by those antibiotics. MG doesn’t have one. What’s more, there are important concerns about resistance developing to the antibiotics most often employed for therapy.
That could make as time goes on, very similar to what has occurred with gonorrhea, MG infections much more challenging to remove.
Long-Term Side Effects
M. genitalium was associated with pelvic inflammatory disease in women. It has also been linked to endometritis (infection of the uterine lining) and preterm birth. As such, the long term consequences of disease with M. genitalium seem to be like those of infection with gonorrhea and chlamydia. This is not surprising because its early signs are also comparable. It is not clear whether mycoplasma infection may lead to infertility in men.
Although studies are not conclusive, it is likely that consistent condom use will significantly reduce your chance of M. genitalium infection. The sole related study done so far found that consistent condom users had half the risk of disease as individuals who have never used condoms.
Even though condoms turn out not to be fully effective at preventing the spread of M. genitalium, utilizing them is still a good idea–they provide effective protection against other highly widespread bacterial STDs, like gonorrhea and chlamydia.