What is Mycoplasma?
Mycoplasma is a bacterium that can infect both men and women and can be passed through sexual contact. This bacteria is one of the smallest documented free-living organisms. Whilst Mycoplasma can be found in normal, healthy genital tracts, the infection is a little known but common STI.
How is it transmitted?
Mycoplasma can be transmitted through unprotected genital contact or oral sex. Mycoplasma cannot be spread by toilet seats, door knobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bath tubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.
How will I know if I have it?
In most cases, the patient will have no symptoms. However, for women who have symptoms, they may include: burning or painful sensation during urination, vaginal itching and pain during sex. In men, the infection is often diagnosed in those who suffer from urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) which is not caused by Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia. Symptoms in men (if they are present) can include urethral discharge, burning or painful sensation during urination, or arthritis (pain and swelling in the joints).
Better2Know can test you quickly, easily and painlessly for Mycoplasma. As well as testing for the infection individually, Mycoplasma testing is also included in our popular Comfort, Platinum and Full screens, among others. Please be sure to hold your urine for two hours before testing. Results are usually available within five working days from when your sample is received in our laboratory.
One of the differentiating characteristics of a Mycoplasma infection is the lack of a normal cell wall, which makes the infection particularly difficult to treat. Whilst the bacterium is treatable with antibiotics, it is important that the patient completes the full course. This is due to the evidence of Mycoplasma Genitalium developing resistance to the medication if the prescribed amount is not taken.
If you contract Mycoplasma, there is an increased risk of catching other sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. Mycoplasma infection has also been associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition which can be very harmful to women if left untreated. To avoid reinfection or further transmission, you should not have unprotected sex until the treatment has finished and the symptoms have gone away.