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Mycoplasma genitalium (MG): what it is and why doctors are anxious
14 July 2018, 06:46 | Melissa Porter
Rare STI could turn into superbug, doctors warn
The news comes after health officials past year warned that millions of young people are shunning protection because risky sex has become acceptable once again, three decades after the Aids epidemic made condom use essential.
The few symptoms are similar to chlamydia, but MG is more resistant to treatment.
The British Association of sexual health and HIV launched a new manual for the treatment and diagnosis of genital diseases. The STD has no symptoms and can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, leading to infertility. On men, this infection may cause inflammation of the urethra. According to the study conducted, 'The majority of men and over half of women with MG did not report any STI symptoms in the past month. Experts say 3,000 British women could become infertile each year if it becomes untreatable.
For women, it also causes pain or bleeding during sex and a burning sensation when urinating, with a watery discharge from the penis and painful urination in men.
Other symptoms for men and women include discharge and dysuria (painful or hard urination).
MG can be missed - and if it is not treated correctly, it can develop resistance to antibiotics.
"Resources are urgently needed to ensure that diagnostic and antimicrobial resistance testing is available for women with the condition who are at high risk of infertility", he said adding, "We are asking the government directly to make this funding available to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiralling out of control".
This common mistake has meant the bug has been quietly getting stronger and more prevalent - and because it has been treated with the wrong drugs is now very resistant to any antibiotic. However, since it diagnosed quite recently the tests aren't available in most clinics.
Like any STI, the best way to prevent MG is by using condoms.
Most people who carry the MG infection have no symptoms - but are still able to pass it on to others. "We both sensibly got tested and declared clean at the start of the relationship but GUM [genitourinary medicine] clinics don't test for MG, unless you have symptoms".
How can I be tested?
"We were put on antibiotics for two weeks but had no sexual contact for five, to make sure we were clean".
MG can be treated with a five-day course of antibiotics, but it is increasingly becoming more resistant to different antibiotic drugs.
The guidelines note people can be tested for MG through a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), but a BASHH survey of 125 out of 152 public health commissioners in England found only one in 10 plan to fund the testing for MG in the next financial year.
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