What is mycoplasma genitalium?

Mycoplasma genitalium infection: Overview

Mycoplasma genitalium (M. genitalium) is a type of bacteria that spreads through sexual contact (sexually transmitted infection, or STI). You may also hear it called Mgen or MG.

Symptoms include discharge from the penis, vagina, or anus. Some people have burning and pain when they urinate. Or they may have itching inside the urethra or vagina. The infection can also cause pain during sex or bleeding between periods. Some people have no symptoms.

An M. genitalium infection is treated with antibiotics. Treatment can help you feel better and stop the spread of infection. It may also prevent more severe problems. Your doctor may suggest that your most recent sex partner or partners get tested too.

What are the symptoms of a Mycoplasma genitalium infection?

Symptoms include discharge from the penis, vagina, or anus. Some people have pain or burning when they urinate. Or they may have itching inside the urethra or vagina. The infection can also cause painful sex or bleeding between periods. But some people have no symptoms.

How is a Mycoplasma genitalium infection treated?

Antibiotics are used to treat the infection. If you think that you've been exposed to it, talk to your doctor. Treatment can help relieve symptoms and prevent the spread of infection. It may also prevent more severe problems.

How can you prevent a Mycoplasma genitalium infection?

  • Limit your sex partners. Sex with one partner who has sex only with you can reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • Talk with your partner or partners about STIs before you have sex. Find out if they are at risk for an STI. Remember that it's possible to have an STI and not know it.
  • Avoid having sex if you (or any partners) have symptoms of an infection or if you are being treated for an STI.
  • Use a condom every time you have sex. Condoms are the only form of birth control that also helps prevent STIs.
  • Don't share sex toys. But if you do share them, use a condom and clean the sex toys between each use.

How is a Mycoplasma genitalium infection diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and sexual history. You may have a physical exam. To test for infections, a swab may be used to collect fluid from the vagina, penis, or rectum. Or you may give a urine sample. Your doctor may suggest that recent sexual partners be tested too.

How can you care for yourself when you have a Mycoplasma genitalium infection?

Take your antibiotics as directed. You need to take the full course of antibiotics. Don't stop taking them just because you feel better. Avoid having sex while you're being treated. And follow your doctor's advice for telling your sex partner or partners that you tested positive. They may need to get tested too.

How does a Mycoplasma genitalium infection spread?

You can get a Mycoplasma genitalium infection by having unprotected vaginal or anal sex with someone who has it. People with the infection can spread it even if they have no symptoms. It is not spread through kissing, hugging, or sharing toilet seats.

What is a Mycoplasma genitalium infection?

Mycoplasma genitalium (M. genitalium) is a type of bacteria that spreads through sexual contact (sexually transmitted infection, or STI). You may also hear it called Mgen or MG. It can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, or anus. The infection will go away with antibiotics.

Mycoplasma genitalium infection: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new belly or pelvic pain.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have new or increased burning or pain with urination, or you cannot urinate.
  • You have new pain, swelling, or tenderness in the scrotum.
  • You have new or worse discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus.
  • You have new or worse vaginal symptoms, such as pain or itching.
  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You think you may have been exposed to another STI.
  • Your symptoms get worse or have not improved within 1 week of the start of treatment.
  • You have any new symptoms, such as sores, bumps, rashes, blisters, or warts in the genital or anal area.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.