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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.
How is it 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 are the symptoms?
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 it 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 is it 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.
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Current as of: May 9, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board: All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
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