Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. Although typically asymptomatic, it may be associated with post-coital bleeding and mucopurulent discharge in women. Individuals engaging in risky sexual behaviors are at a higher risk of infection with this pathogen. Coinfection with Mycoplasma genitalium and other sexually transmitted diseases is frequently reported among high-risk individuals (the most common reported coinfection being chlamydia.)  Those who have the infection may also be at increased risk for other infections, such as HIV.

Mycoplasma Genitalium: What Do We Know?

Mycoplasma genitalium has been detected in 10-30% of women with cervicitis. Additionally, it has been detected in 2-22% of women with pelvic inflammatory disease. Complications of untreated infections may include infertility and poor birth outcomes, such as premature birth or even miscarriage. 

The Superbug Of Mycoplasma Genitalium

The challenge associated with Mycoplasma genitalium is its increasing drug resistance. Mycoplasma genitalium is advancing to the point of “superbug” potential, which describes strains of pathogens that have developed resistance to many antibiotics once used to treat them. Many antibiotics that once successfully treated Mycoplasma genitalium have dramatically decreased in their success rates, however, some antibiotics (such as doxycycline and moxifloxacin) are still successful. 

The take-home message: Mycoplasma genitalium may be a lesser-known STD, but it is still linked to severe complications when left untreated. Risky sexual behaviors, including multiple sexual partners and unsafe sex, can make an individual more susceptible to infection with this STD. Therefore, annual screening for this, and other STDs, are recommended for sexually active individuals to prevent serious complications.