A little-known, sometimes symptomless sexually transmitted disease is set to be the next superbug within a decade — if people don’t wise up about their sex lives, experts are warning.
Mycoplasma genitalium, or MG, is a sexually transmitted bacteria that can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and, ultimately, infertility in women if not treated properly.
Symptoms of MG can be similar to gonorrhea and chlamydia — but often, there are no signs of an infection at all. That means some people may not even be aware they’ve been infected until bigger problems arise.
If left untreated, MG, which was first discovered in the early 1980s and spreads through unprotected sex, can also develop a resistance to antibiotics.
“This is not curing the infection and is causing antimicrobial resistance in MG patients,” Dr. Paddy Horner told the Telegraph. “If practices do not change and the tests are not used, MG has the potential to become a superbug within a decade, resistant to standard antibiotics.”
In women, MG can cause a burning sensation when urinating and pain or bleeding during and after sex. Men might experience watery discharge from their penis.
It’s unclear exactly how many in the US have been infected with MG. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed it as an “emerging issue.”