Mycoplasma genitalium is a form of bacteria that is sexually transmitted and lives in the skin cells or the urinary and genital tracts. This STD is becoming more and more common, and unfortunately, antibiotic-resistant strains make it difficult to treat. It is estimated that around one percent of all adults carry the bacteria.
How It Is Transmitted
Mycoplasma is transmitted via sexual contact. This does not inherently mean penetration though. Any form of sexual contact, including oral sex, genital touching, or rubbing can allow for the bacteria to move between partners. This means barrier methods alone are not enough to prevent transmission.
Who It Affects
Both men and women can contract and be negatively impacted by mycoplasma. Because it is sexually transmitted, only those who are sexually active can contract the STD. Men are more likely than women to experience negative effects from the disease, but both sexes are able to contract it equally.
In many cases, mycoplasma is asymptomatic, especially in the early stages. When symptoms develop, they can include the following:
- Watery penile discharge
- Pain when urinating
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain in the vagina during sex
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Bleeding between periods
- Female pelvic pain below the belly button
Mycoplasma can result in numerous complications. These include:
- Urethritis—swelling of the urethra
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Cervicitis—inflammation of the cervix
While it is not confirmed, it is also speculated that it can cause fertility problems.
Because mycoplasma is best treated before symptoms develop, anyone who is sexually active should be tested for it and other STDs at least once a year. LetsGetChecked comprehensive STD check offers testing for it, as well as 9 other STDs.