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Mycoplasma Genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted infection. It is often transmitted alongside other conditions such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Mycoplasma genitalium (or MGen) is one of the main causes of urethritis in men, and bacterial vaginosis in women.

If you have been diagnosed with this STI, it can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics. Read on to find out more information.


Medically reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 14-05-2024

What is mycoplasma genitalium?

MGen is caused by mycoplasma genitalium bacteria. It affects the cells in the urinary and genital areas, and is a common STI.

It can be difficult to diagnose because often there are no symptoms. Or, any symptoms that do show up could easily be mistaken for other conditions such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

The easiest way to get diagnosed is by getting tested at a sexual health clinic or GP practice.

What are the causes?

MGen is sexually transmitted from person to person. Without the use of condoms, the bacteria are able to spread during intercourse.

Mycoplasma genitalium can be passed on during:

  • vaginal or anal sex
  • oral sex
  • the sharing of sex toys

What are the symptoms?

It can be difficult to diagnose MGen because sometimes you won’t get any symptoms.

In some cases, symptoms do show up - but often not till weeks or months after getting infected.

Common symptoms in men include:

  • burning feeling or pain during urination
  • urethral discharge
  • pain and swelling in the joints (arthritis).

Common symptoms in women include:

  • burning feeling or pain during urination
  • pain during sex
  • inflamed cervix
  • bleeding between periods (often after sex)
  • vaginal itching

Getting tested for STIs after unprotected sex is the most effective way of diagnosing MGen quickly. Once diagnosed, it is generally easy to cure with the correct antibiotics.

How do I get tested?

Your local sexual health clinic or GP will be able to test you for this STI.

To get tested, men must provide a urine sample and women will have a swab taken from the vagina.

These will then be analysed to look for the mycoplasma genitalium bacterium.

If you have unprotected sex with a new partner, always get tested right away. This prevents any long-term health conditions caused by symptomless STIs.

What are the risks?

MGen is easily treated with the right medication. However, it is difficult to diagnose because it is often symptomless.

If left untreated, mycoplasma genitalium can lead to:

  • urethritis
  • cervicitis (when the cervix becomes inflamed)
  • ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilised egg is outside of the womb)
  • infertility
  • pelvic pain
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (in women)
  • epididymitis/prostatitis (in men)

How can I prevent it?

You can prevent MGen by having protected sex. This includes:

  • using male or female condoms
  • not sharing sex toys, or cleaning in between uses
  • limiting your number of sexual partners

How can I treat it?

The most effective way to treat mycoplasma genitalium is by taking a combination of Azithromycin and Doxycycline.

This involves a 10-day course of antibiotics, where you take Doxycycline for 7 days and then Azithromycin for 3 days.

The treatment pack includes:

  • 14 x Doxycycline capsules (100mg)
  • 4 x Azithromycin capsules (500mg)

Always consult the patient information leaflet before taking any medication.

Please note: You should avoid sexual intercourse until you have completed your course of antibiotics. You can then take an additional test to see if you are clear of the infection and can no longer pass it on

Can I buy treatment online?

Yes, you can purchase MGen treatment online here at HealthExpress.

Follow the online steps to complete your consultation form, which will be assessed by one of our UK doctors.

If approved, our pharmacy will dispatch your treatment the following day. It will be sent to your front door with free next-day delivery.

Further reading

What causes sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

What causes sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Reviewed by Dr. Anand Abbot
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