Not to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s a new STI on the block, Betties. Well, probably new to you and me, anyways. Now…before you flip out, listen up and tune in for the need-to-knows about M.Genitalium and what you can do to protect yourself from this sneaky infection.
WHO IS THIS M. GENITALIUM?
Mycoplasma genitalium (or Mgen) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can infect a Betty’s cervix (opening to the uterus), a penis-haver’s urethra, or the rectum.
Mgen has been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which occurs when an infection of the cervix spreads to the Fallopian tubes (tubes leading from the ovary to the uterus). Left untreated, PID can result in infertility.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE MGEN?
Here’s the kicker: sometimes, Mgen doesn’t present any in-your-face symptoms. Like an STI ninja, stealthily invading your body without making a peep. Those with symptoms might experience abnormal discharge, vaginal irritation, and pain during sex or when they go pee.
Symptoms sound familiar? *ding ding ding* That’s the other tricky thing about Mgen, y’all. It can be easily mistaken for another STI, like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
SO WHY ARE JUST FINDING OUT ABOUT MGEN?
Ah, great question! Mgen’s been flying under the radar because its STI-symptom-mimicking characteristics have made it difficult to identify without specific testing. Mgen was first discovered back in the 1980s, but it took some time for us to fully comprehend its impact and develop reliable testing methods.
SPEAKING OF…HOW DO YOU TEST + TREAT MGEN?
To test for Mgen, your provider will take a cervical or vaginal swab sample. If you test positive, your they’ll prescribe the appropriate antibiotics to kick this stealthy STI to the curb. But, and this is a big BUT, it’s essential to complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed. We don’t want any Mgen stragglers lingering around, plotting a comeback. You may need to pop by to see your provider for a follow-up to keep an eye on your symptoms + potential reinfection.
WHY ALL THE FUSS ABOUT MGEN?
Early detection is crucial for getting treatment, Betties, and Mgen is not typically included in your run-o’-the-mill STI screenings. So, if you suspect you may have been exposed to Mgen or are experiencing some of the symptoms, it’s important to be open with your provider + specifically request testing for it.
Mgen has sneakily risen in infections, meaning some of its strains have developed resistance to the typical antibiotics prescribed to treat STIs. Which is why prevention is paramount.
AND HOW DO YOU PREVENT MGEN?
You know the drill, Betties: practice(!)safer(!)sex! We’re all about empowering you with the need-to-knows to make informed decisions about your sexual health, but it’s all on you, Betties to:
– Use condoms (correctly and consistently)
– Test regularly
– Talk with your partner(s) (their infection status + last time they tested)
Don’t let news of a new STI give you the spooks, Betties. Stay informed and stay proactive – your sexual health matters.