What is it?
Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacterium which can cause infection of the cervix, urethra (penis), and anus. It is a sexually transmissible infection. It is similar to, but less common than chlamydia. There are currently no recommendations to include routine testing for mycoplasma genitalium in people who have no symptoms.
How is MG transmitted?
Mycoplasma genitalium is transmitted by having unprotected anal or vaginal sex. Unprotected means sex without a condom. Some people may not have any symptoms, but can still pass on the infection.
What are the symptoms of MG?
Symptoms can include:
- Lower abdominal pain/discomfort.
- Pain while having sex
- Unusual vaginal bleeding (between periods and after sex).
- Unusual vaginal discharge.
- Discharge from the penis.
- Pain on passing urine.
Can I be tested for mycoplasma genitalium?
Testing is limited to those with symptoms or who have had sex with partners with known mycoplasma genitalium infection only. If testing is required samples are collected from urine, a urethral sample (from the penis), or from a vaginal swab. If symptoms are present and it is left untreated, mycoplasma infection can extend to the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause infertility. If infection occurs during pregnancy mycoplasma genitalium can be associated with miscarriage and pre-term delivery.
What treatment is available
If mycoplasma genitalium is diagnosed, two oral antibiotics are used to treat it. A follow up test is done after one month, and a further repeat test is usually advised 3 months later to make sure that there has been no reinfection.
Should I tell my sexual partners?
Yes, all sexual partners over the past six months should be contacted and treated.
How do I prevent infection?
As with other sexually transmissible infections the best way to prevent mycoplasma genitalium is by using condoms correctly every time you have sex. For useful tips on condom use check out SHFPACT’s condom fact sheet.
Visiting the SHFPACT clinic
SHFPACT’s sexual and reproductive health clinic offers a holistic, confidential, and respectful service to Canberra and the region. The majority of SHFPACT doctors and nurses are female. All our doctors and nurses have specialist sexual and reproductive health qualifications and approach all matters sensitively.