What is mycoplasma?
Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is a bacterium found in the urinary tract that can be transmitted through sex and sexual contact. There are around 200 types of mycoplasma bacteria, but most of them are harmless. However, there are a number of strains that you should be aware of and get tested for, such as mycoplasma genitalium.
How can you catch mycoplasma?
You can get mycoplasma if you have unprotected sex with someone who's already infected with the bacteria. However, many people can have the infection without knowing it as it usually causes no symptoms. This means it can often go unnoticed in the same way as chlamydia.
What are the symptoms of mycoplasma?
Mycoplasma genitalium can present no symptoms and the only way someone can be sure, is by taking a test. If the infection remains undetected and untreated, long term consequences such as urethritis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and ultimately infertility can occur.
If you're a woman, you may notice that you:
- Experience pain during sexual intercourse
- Bleed from the vagina after sexual intercourse
- Suffer from an unexpected vaginal discharge
For men, the infection can cause issues such as:
- Urethritis - a swelling of the urethra (the tube that passes urine from the body)
- Experience stinging or burning when you pee
- Discharge from the penis
How can you test for mycoplasma?
The only way to know if you are infected is to get tested. To access testing, you can either visit your local GUM or sexual health clinic or GP or purchase a LetsGetChecked at-home sexual test. The most important thing you can do is to get tested and if you are positive, you’ll receive the treatment you need. It is also a good idea to tell your current and past sexual partners so that they can get tested and receive any treatment they may need. To test for mycoplasma, it is a simple urine test and no blood is required.
How can I lower my risk of getting mycoplasma?
As with all sexual health concerns, it is important that you practice safe sex, wear condoms and get tested regularly, especially if you have started a new relationship.
Is mycoplasma curable?
Yes, treatment will include antibiotics and your partner will need to get tested as well.
Can I test myself at home for mycoplasma?
Yes, you can buy a home testing kit that allows you to test for a number of sexually transmitted infections, including Mycoplasma. You can also use a service like our Online Doctor for STI testing or visit your local sexual health clinic.