You may have been taught about general health along with all of its perspectives. It is the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that are commonly missed by many people during these classes.
STIs are of different types, some being mild to moderate in severity while others being highly infectious and dangerous. Mycoplasma genitalium is one of these STIs that has been emerging as a potentially dangerous disease in the recent past.
This particular disease is said to induce infertility in women. The condition is also becoming resistant to antibiotics. Together with this problem, the disease is said to double by the end of next decade as per the experts of the United Kingdom.
So, how much concerned should you be regarding this particular disease>
As per a professor of medicine, there is absolutely no need to panic about it. The expert has even mentioned how he is not quite certain whether the disease is actually going to double in the next ten years,
Mycoplasma genitalium is a type of sexually transmitted infections that may be confused with Chlamydia.
The exact prevalence of this disease within the United States is not known. However, some estimates suggest it to be a little more common than gonorrhea in females.
The prevalence of the same disease in men suffering from urethritis is around 30 to 40 percent.
Experts believe that a huge majority of the patients suffering from mycoplasma genitalium do not exhibit any signs i.e. they remain asymptomatic. This means that such patients can easily transmit the disease without even realizing it themselves.
Among both men and women, there exist a lot of infections that do not cause any abnormal symptoms to appear. Some of these infections do become symptomatic later on, and in men, they may trigger inflammation of the urethra, an abnormal discharge, and painful urination.
In women, such infections most commonly lead to the inflammation of the cervix which exhibits itself in the form of discomfort or even bleeding during or after an intercourse.
Sometimes, the Mycoplasma genitalium bacteria move beyond the cervix all the way through the uterus to reach the fallopian tubes. In such circumstances, the inflammation of these tubes is seen, as per an expert of infectious diseases.
If such an infection is not treated promptly, it may induce infertility in women.
Within the United Kingdom, the rate of this infection is said to be one out of every 100 women. Keeping this in mind, the health officials have warned the masses that it could eventually turn into a superbug.
But health experts in the U.S say that they would rather be cautious about making any such claim regarding the American population.
The experts further said that they are not ready to acclaim these predictions but there will always be a concern at the back of their minds.
Another professor of medicine, epidemiology, and microbiology has said that the increase in the rate of prevalence of this infection may be due to the fact that the diagnostic tests for mycoplasma are becoming more and more common.
Mycoplasma genitalium is one of those infections that no one was looking for ten or fifteen years from now. Experts say that highly sensitive tests have now been developed which do a pretty decent job at detecting this infection.
The fact that these infections are now being accurately diagnosed does not mean that they were not there before it. This is the part of the controversy, as per the scientists.
An Emerging Issue?
In the year 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included Mycoplasma genitalium among the emerging issues regarding the STIs.
The data published by the CDC states that this infection was responsible for almost 15 to 20 percent of the nongonococcal urethritis and almost 30 percent of the recurrent urethritis.
In females, this infection was successfully detected in 10 to 30 percent of the population along with clinical cervicitis. The prevalence of Mycoplasma in women suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease was 2 to 22 percent.
Getting Tested for Mycoplasma Genitalium
At present, there is no test that has been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for detecting the cases of Mycoplasma genitalium within the United States.
However, this certainly does not mean that the people in this country cannot be tested for this infection.
The fact that Mycoplasma genitalium does not have any approved tests does not mean that there are no tests for it. A lot of private labs have taken measures to introduce their own tests for this infection to be detected in the suspected patients.
These tests may not have an approval from the FDA, but if they are available to the public at a commercial laboratory, they are expected to be standardized properly and regulated under the major certifying body i.e. the College of American Pathologists, and this authority have quite strict ways of examining and judging these tests, as per an expert.
Meanwhile, a new test has recently been listed by the FDA for sale in the U.S. for detecting Mycoplasma genitalium. The test is currently undergoing a clinical trial.
Researchers say that this kit will supposedly make it a lot easier for the non-specialists to diagnose Mycoplasma genitalium and treat it properly.
The test is very rapid with high accuracy levels. It will not only detect the presence of Mycoplasma genitalium but will also check the DNA of this bacterium and predict the best antibiotic to use against it.
It is important to remember here that Mycoplasma genitalium has been considered as a low profile STI for quite some time now.
The awareness of this infection is, however, quite crucial. The patients must approach the test for Mycoplasma genitalium as a regular part of their broader sexual health routine.
For the patients, it is advised by the experts not to focus on any one organism, but instead to look out for their overall sexual health. If they go for more than one sexual partners, it is better to practice safe sex.
This means that they should use condoms and barrier protection, and have regular checkups. These checkups must include diagnosing STIs as well.