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Mycoplasma Genitalium (MGen)

What is it?

Mycoplasma Genitalium (MGen or MG) is a curable sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is a type of bacterium or germ which can infect

  • the water passage (urethritis)
  • the neck of the womb (cervicitis)
  • the womb and fallopian tubes (pelvic inflammatory disease)
  • less commonly it can be found in the rectum

Most people who carry the infection do not experience any problems, and many get rid of the infection without any treatment.

How is it passed on?

MGen is passed on through penetrative vaginal or anal sex without a condom, with someone who has the infection.

It cannot be caught by kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, using swimming pools or from toilet seats.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms you might notice

  • Pain in the lower abdomen (tummy), particularly during sex, in women/transmen
  • Vaginal bleeding after sex
  • Pain or burning in the penis when passing urine
  • Discharge from the penis

Other infections may also cause these symptoms, your doctor or nurse will advise you if you need testing for MGen.

How do you test for it?

Most people who carry the infection do not develop any problems and naturally clear the infection without any treatment.

Therefore it is not recommended to test and treat all clients attending the Sexual Health clinic for MGen. This could lead to antibiotic resistance and make the infection hard to treat.

Your doctor or nurse will advise you if you need testing for MGen based on your symptoms.

If you do need a test, either a swab will be taken from inside the vagina (taken by the doctor/nurse, or by you), or a urine sample will be taken.

What happens if I don’t get treated?

Rarely, if left untreated it can lead to more serious health complications e.g. pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, or pain and swelling of the testicles.

What is the treatment?

MGen is treated with antibiotics – typically two sets of tablets. The second set must be taken within 2 weeks of the first, otherwise you will have to start again from the beginning.

This treatment is effective for most people but because MGen is starting to show resistance to some antibiotics, it is important you have a further test to make sure that the antibiotics have worked.

It is important that your current sexual partners tested, even if they have no symptoms. They will be given treatment if their test is also positive.

Find out how to avoid STIs.