Mycoplasma genitalium

Pelvis | Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Mycoplasma genitalium (Disease)


Mycoplasma genitalium is an often asymptomatic, bacterial, sexually transmitted disease (STD) which bears some similarities to gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Because mycoplasma genitalium often occurs in association with other infections in both men and women, doctors still find it quite difficult to diagnose the condition on its own.

A mycoplasma genitalium infection is quite similar to chlamydia and gonorrhoea, but often occurs together with other STIs, making it difficult to diagnose. It is a small parasitic infection that can affect both men and women, and is transmitted when small mycoplasma organisms are transferred through unprotected sex. These organisms cause an infection by attaching themselves to the surface of the genital tract and attacking the hosts tissue. Mycoplasma genitalium is asymptomatic, meaning most people wont notice any symptoms. It can also be associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV), cervicitis, endometritis and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Men usually experience urethral discharge, pain or burning during urination and urethritis with a mycoplasma infection. However, the main symptom of mycoplasma for men is an inflammation of the urethra. Men are often diagnosed with this infection if they experience a continuous urethral inflammation and test negative for both chlamydia and gonorrhoea. The common symptoms of this STI for women usually include continuous pain during sex and vaginal itching. Pain or burning during urination are also common symptoms for women.

Causes and Risk factors

Mycoplasma genitalium is often associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV) in women, and is a common cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. This infection can contracted if a person is sexually active, and more so if he/she has sex with multiple partners. It is passed on through vaginal, anal or oral sex.

A mycoplasma genitalium infection can stay unrecognised for months because it rarely shows any symptoms. If you dont successfully treat the infection in its early stages, it can cause prostatitis or epididymitis (swollen and painful testicles) in men and cervicitis, urethritis, PID or ectopic pregnancy in women. Mycoplasma genitalium can also leave both men and women infertile and experiencing long-lasting pelvic pain if its left untreated for a long period of time.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When diagnosed, mycoplasma genitalium can easily be treated with a simple course of antibiotics. Azithromycin has been proven to be the most effective treatment method for this infection and is most effective when taken on day one as a 500mg dose (two 250mg tablets at once) and then taken on days two to five as a 250mg dose (one tablet per day). ...

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