Get Tested for Mycoplasma Genitalium At Home

Mycoplasma genitalium

Fast, Easy, Affordable. At-Home Testing

Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is an extremely common but mostly unknown STD spread by anal and vaginal intercourse. Mycoplasma genitalium was first identified in 1981 and until recently it was not possible to test for it at all. It is the smallest known self-replicating bacteria and is often misdiagnosed as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea and then treated incorrectly, allowing it to build up antibiotic resistance.[1]

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Testing for Mycoplasma Genitalium At Home

A proper screening with lab-certified results is the only way to know if you have MG, but there is still disagreement about whether a Mycoplasma genitalium test should be given to someone who doesn’t show symptoms. Those in favor of asymptomatic screening cite the frequency of infection, growing antibiotic resistance and serious long-term consequences of an untreated infection.[4] Those against screening without symptoms claim there is not enough data on the presence of long-term consequences to recommend asymptomatic testing.[2] However, both sides agree that anyone with persistent urethritis, cervicitis or PID should be tested.

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Possible Symptoms

The most common symptom for MG in men and women is no symptom at all. It is a slow-moving bacteria that can take weeks or months to culture and lives inside of the cells of the infected area.[2]

If symptoms are present, men will experience urethritis, or an inflammation of the tube that carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. This causes a burning sensation while urinating and discharge from the penis. A 2014 study of men with urethritis found that 16.7% of cases were caused by MG.[3] Untreated persistent MG can cause epididymitis.[2]

For women, a symptomatic MG infection causes cervicitis and manifests as burning during urination, abnormal vaginal bleeding or vaginal discharge. It can also cause bleeding during menstruation, bleeding after sex and lower abdominal pain. Untreated cervicitis can progress into pelvic inflammatory disease or PID which causes infertility.[2]

Seek Treatment

The normal treatment for MG is a course of antibiotics, but the particular antibiotic varies with different strains of MG. A new set of guidelines put out by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV in 2018 recommends one of four different antibiotics depending on the nature of the infection and the complications involved.[2]

This guideline strongly recommends abstinence until treatment is complete and retesting 3-5 weeks after treatment begins.[2] Partners of persons with a confirmed MG infection should also be tested and treated immediately.

Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA

References:

  1. [1] Misdiagnosis and treatment as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea let Mycoplasma genitalium build up resistance to many common antibiotics. Without proper testing, diagnosis and treatment, it could become resistant to all first and second line antibiotics.

    Wise J. Test for Mycoplasma genitalium or risk it becoming a superbug, doctors warn. British Medical Journal. 2018.

  2. [2] The UK recommends testing and treatment for anyone presenting urethritis, cervicitis or PID that has not been diagnosed as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea.

    Soni S, Horner P, Rayment M, et al. 2018 BASHH UK national guideline for the management of infection with Mycoplasma genitalium. British Association of Sexual Health and HIV. 2018.

  3. [3] Mycoplasma genitalium is found responsible for 16.7% of urethritis cases in men presenting symptoms.

    Pond MJ, Nori AV, Witney AA, et al. High Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistant Mycoplasma genitalium in Nongonococcal Urethritis: The Need for Routine Testing and the Inadequacy of Current Treatment Options. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2014.

  4. [4] Commentary recommends asymptomatic screening for Mycoplasma genitalium to prevent evolution into an antibiotic-resistant superbug.

    Manhart LE. Editorial Commentary: Diagnostic and Resistance Testing for Mycoplasma genitalium: What Will It Take? Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2014.

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