What is Mycoplasma Genitalium?

What is Mycoplasma Genitalium?

Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG) is a bacteria that is spread through sex. To date it has been shown to be passed on by vaginal and anal sex, but we are learning more about it all the time. It is thought up to 1 in 50 adults in England currently carry MG, however almost all will have no ill effects from the infection.

What are the symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium?

What are the symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium?

Almost all MG infections are symptom free, lasting for months to years, and cause no harm to the human body. Very occasionally MG will infect someone who gets symptoms from it. These symptoms are different in men and women:

MG symptoms in men can include:

  • pain when peeing
  • white discharge from the tip of the penis
  • burning or itching in the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body)
  • discomfort or discharge from your bum – if you have had anal sex
  • pain in the testicles

MG symptoms in women can include:

  • pain when peeing
  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • pain in the tummy or pelvis
  • pain during sex
  • bleeding after sex
  • painful bleeding between periods
  • discomfort or discharge from your bum – if you have had anal sex

MG is also thought to be a potential cause of early labour and miscarriage in pregnant women. However this link is not yet well understood.

Treatment for Mycoplasma Genitalium

Treatment for Mycoplasma Genitalium

MG is treated with antibiotics over a course of 10 days. The right choice of antibiotics is changing all the time as MG can become resistant to some treatments. We can talk you through the latest information about this. Treatment choice is also different if you have allergies or are breastfeeding or pregnant. You shouldn’t have any kind of sex, even with a condom, during your treatment.

What should I do if I think I have Mycoplasma Genitalium?

What should I do if I think I have Mycoplasma Genitalium?

If you have any of the symptoms linked to MG we would recommend you book an appointment at one of our Devon Sexual Health clinics. We will need to assess you to decide if testing or treatment for MG is recommended and we can talk you through the options.

You may have heard of MG if you have had unprotected sex with someone who has the infection. Unless you have symptoms, or are the current partner of the person who has MG, we do not recommend testing specifically for MG. However other sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia often don’t have any symptoms and are much more common so we would recommend that you book an appointment and come and have a chat and a check-up.

MG is tested for by taking a swab from vagina or bum (rectum), as well as a urine sample for men. The results will usually be available in one to two weeks. The staff at our clinics are incredibly friendly and kind so there is no need to worry about visiting. Waiting times can vary, so it is usually best to book an appointment in advance.

If you do have a sexually transmitted infection, it is best to tell your current or recent partners. We can help you with this by contacting them but keeping your name anonymous or you can do this yourself.

How can I avoid getting Mycoplasma Genitalium?

How can I avoid getting Mycoplasma Genitalium?

You can avoid getting MG by using a condom whenever you have any type of sex with a partner. Wash sex toys or cover them with a condom and replace it between partners. Also, talk to your partner about their sexual history. When did they last have unprotected sex? When did they last have a test for STIs?

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Accessing our service during the COVID pandemic

How to access our service:

We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Please contact our services to access this triage system. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend the clinic. Clear advice for people with symptoms of coronavirus is available at nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Advice from our service:

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.

More details on the fitting of LARCs (coils and implants) at our service can be found here

If you need the combined contraceptive pill please try (if you can) to get updated measurements of your height, weight and blood pressure before calling us.

There is also specific advice on coronavirus available for People Living with HIV here, and for pregnant women here

Self-requested Sexual Health screening by post is available for for under 25s only - more info here

For others with testing requirements please contact the service on 0300 303 3989.

Alternative provision:

Please be aware that we may have to cancel, rearrange or shut clinical services in response to changing clinical and staffing pressures created by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - at your local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV postal testing - available to at-risk groups for a small fee -  more info
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info