Mycoplasma genitalium infection - including symptoms, treatment and prevention

Is an infection caused by Mycoplasma genitalium bacteria.

How Mycoplasma genitalium infection is spread

Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by Mycoplasma genitalium bacteria.

Signs and symptoms of Mycoplasma genitalium infection

MG may cause symptoms including:

  • abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina
  • burning sensation or discomfort on urination.

If infection spreads to the cervix, bleeding between periods, often after sex may occur.

Untreated infection of the cervix may spread to the Fallopian tubes (tubes leading from the ovary to the uterus) and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This may not cause any symptoms, but may also cause:

  • fever
  • lower abdominal pain
  • pain during intercourse.

If untreated, PID may lead to scarring of the Fallopian tubes or ectopic or tubal pregnancy (in the Fallopian tubes) and may eventually cause infertility.

Diagnosis of Mycoplasma genitalium infection

Diagnosis is made by a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test in a laboratory on a swab from the vagina, cervix or anus or on a urine sample.

The diagnosis is usually made when symptoms are present and tests for gonorrhoea and chlamydia are negative.

Incubation period

(time between becoming infected and developing symptoms)

Variable, usually 2 to 35 days.

Infectious period

(time during which an infected person can infect others)

Until appropriate antibiotic treatment has been completed.

Treatment for Mycoplasma genitalium infection

Seek medical advice if infection is suspected. Effective antibiotic treatment is available on prescription from a doctor.

Continued or recurring symptoms may require referral for specialist treatment.

Prevention of Mycoplasma genitalium infection

  • Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms
  • All sexual partners need to be contacted, tested and treated, if needed
  • Avoid sexual contact until you and infected partners have completed treatment
  • A follow-up test must be done to make sure that treatment has cured the infection
  • Testing to exclude other sexually transmitted infections is advisable
  • Use condoms and other barrier methods to prevent getting sexually transmitted infections, including mycoplasma genitalium
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections regularly (even if you do not have symptoms), particularly when you have new sexual partners.

Useful links