What is mycoplasma genitalium?
Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacterial infection that is spread through sexual contact.
It can infect the urethra, cervix and anus.
What are the symptoms?
Often there are no symptoms and people can catch and pass on mycoplasma without knowing it.
When people do have symptoms they can include:
- pain when urinating
- discharge from the penis or vagina
- pain in the lower abdomen
- pain or bleeding during or after sex
- bleeding between periods
Mycoplasma genitalium can also infect the anus (there are usually no symptoms).
If infection of the cervix spreads to the fallopian tubes (tubes leading from the ovary to the uterus), it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). If untreated PID can cause infertility and chronic pelvic pain.
Mycoplasma can also be a cause of preterm labour and miscarriage.
How is mycoplasma genitalium spread?
Mycoplasma genitalium is sexually transmitted through unprotected vaginal and anal sex.
When should I have a mycoplasma genitalium test?
Testing for mycoplasma is not currently recommended for people who don’t have symptoms.
You should have a mycoplasma test if:
- you have signs or symptoms of mycoplasma genitalium
- you have a sexual contact who has been diagnosed as having mycoplasma genitalium
How is mycoplasma genitalium tested?
If you are a contact of someone who has mycoplasma, you can be tested with a urine sample or self collected vaginal or anal swab. People who have symptoms should be examined by a doctor or nurse and a swab can be taken then.
How is mycoplasma genitalium treated?
Mycoplasma genitalium infection is treated with 2 courses of antibiotics. Both courses need to be taken to cure the infection.
Your sexual partner/s need to be tested and may need treatment. Your doctor or nurse can help you notify your sexual partner/s and there are websites where partner notification can be done anonymously.
You should have a follow up test 2 weeks after finishing treatment (4 weeks after starting treatment).
It’s important to avoid sexual intercourse until you and your partner/s have had a negative test for mycoplasma. This is so that you don’t pass on the infection or become reinfected yourself.
If you have a positive test for mycoplasma it’s also a good idea to get tested for blood-borne viruses such as HIV and syphilis.
Prevention of mycoplasma genitalium
- Use condoms.
- Practise safer sex. Make sure semen, blood, vaginal or anal fluid are not passed between partners.
- Talk about any past infections with your sexual partner/s.
Where can I get tested?
- You can visit SHINE SA for further information, testing and treatment.
You can also:
- Make an appointment with your local doctor, health care provider or Aboriginal Health service.
- Contact Adelaide Sexual Health Centre: drop in or phone.
275 North Terrace, Adelaide
Tel: 7117 2800