Mycoplasma genitalium is the name of an STI-causing bacterium. Until recently, there was no reliable way to test for its presence. Luckily, science advances all the time and the first effective and accurate Mycoplasma genitalium test is already here.
New STD Test on the Market
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US announced that it has allowed the marketing of a new STI test that can accurately detect the presence of the bacterium in the human body.
This is the first test that the FDA has authorized for the identification of this STI-causing microorganism.
Mycoplasma genitalium is the smallest bacterium out of all STI-causing agents. It was identified for the first time in 1980, which makes it a relative newcomer to the field of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it an emerging health concern only in 2015.
Currently, the FDA has approved three test applications by different pharmaceutical companies. One of the tests, developed by an Australian company, is also capable of detecting the specific bacterium strain and determining if it is resistant to any forms of antibiotic treatment.
To prove the effectiveness of the test, researchers worked with over 12,000 specimens and compared the results to three different research assays. Through testing, it was established that the products developed by the pharmaceutical companies were anywhere between 77.8 and 99.6 per cent effective.
The risk of false positives was much lower. In the absence of the bacterium, the tests produced anywhere between 97.8 and 99.6 per cent accurate results.
The Importance of Studying the Tiny STI Culprit
Having the ability to positively identify Mycoplasma genitalium is very important for the treatment of reproductive, urinary and fertility issues.
Mycoplasma genitalium doesn’t always cause symptoms, which means that numerous people could have it without realising. Whenever the symptoms manifest themselves, they could include watery discharge, a burning sensation during urination, painful sex for women, vaginal bleeding and pelvic area pain.
These symptoms overlap with the ways in which many STIs manifest themselves. Misdiagnosis is possible, which often contributes to the selection of an infective treatment.
Many people suffer from urogenital infections that don’t have a specific causing agent medics can identify. In such instances, people are prescribed antibiotics until the infection subsides. Through better Mycoplasma genitalium identification options, doctors would become capable of offering more tailored and reliable treatment options.
According to current estimates, the bacterium causes anywhere between 15 and 30 percent of the recurrent urogenital infections in men and approximately 30 percent of cervical inflammation cases in women.
Some studies also suggest that untreated infections increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease development and infertility.
Women infected with Mycoplasma genitalium could also be at a higher risk of pregnancy complications and birth complications. Still, the evidence isn’t strong enough to establish a link.
The new FDA-approved tests could change that and even provide new options for the treatment of inexplicable infertility. Reproductive experts rarely look at Mycoplasma genitalium as the cause of problems right now. FDA-approved tests make it more likely for clinicians to explore this avenue and suggest an effective antibiotic treatment in the case of a positive test.
Because it hasn’t been studied effectively so far, the infection with Mycoplasma genitalium is not fully understood yet.
Researchers believe that it has many of the risk factors that are common for conditions like chlamydia and gonorrhoea. People who have numerous sexual partners and who engage in unsafe sex without a condom are at an increased risk of suffering a Mycoplasma genitalium infection.
The Importance of Safe Sex and Regular Testing
The fact that medical research is moving forward doesn’t mean you should abdicate from personal responsibility when it comes to your reproductive health.
Abstinence and safe sex are still vitally important to protect yourself from common sexually transmitted infections. If you are sexually active, you should get in the habit of going for STD testing in Singapore at least once per year. People who belong to high risk groups like sex workers and those who have multiple sexual partners should get tested more often for STDs as well as get tested for HIV. This group should also consider HIV prevention treatments available like HIV PEP and HIV PrEP.
STD tests are reliable, easy to administer and capable of producing fast, accurate results.
You have multiple testing options to choose among in Singapore.
Shim Clinic is a STD clinic that offers full and comprehensive STD testing options. When you come to Shim Clinic, you’ll also benefit from a private and confidential consultation with an experienced professional who’ll answer your questions and suggest the best course of action in the event of a positive result.
Contact us today if you have questions about our STD testing options or visit Shim Clinic every day of the week during our work hours:
Monday to Friday: 9 am to 3 pm, 7 pm to 11 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 7 pm to 11 pm
Public Holidays: Closed