Could You Have This Rare STI Without Knowing It?

While the process of getting tested keeps getting easier and easier, the amount of people that frequently get tested is still not as high as it should be. It seems that people only go to get tested once they’ve detected a problem, and usually by that point, it’s too late.However, researchers have concluded that if people continue not getting tested, a new STD may soon affect hundreds of thousands of people.

Mycoplasma genitalium is one of many STIs that is not easily detected, so much so that many of the people infected may not know that they have it. Over 90% of affected men don’t even realize that they have the disease, and for females there are still about 50% that aren’t aware that they are infected.

In fact, according to Britain’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, which tested about 4,500 people, over 1% of the population has MG.

Although MG may not cause any initially overt symptoms, the affects on your body are eventually detrimental to your health. Men tend to experience infections in their urethra, or chronic urethritis. Although there is less evidence of the diseases effect on women, researchers concluded that MG can cause urethritis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even possible infertility.

Similar to HPV, Mycoplasma genitalium is not going to cause bumps on your genitals or burning pee, but instead cause longer and more dangerous health problems for you down the road. As much as you may want to make assumptions about certain partners because of their sexual history or reputation, the only way to know with 100% accuracy if your partner has an STI is to ask them to get tested. While you’re at it, you should get tested yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re using another form of birth control, condoms are the only way to protect yourself from infections. As we’ve seen with Herpes, condoms can’t even fully protect you from all STIs, so if you want to be completely safe, you need to pay more attention to who you’re sleeping with and not be shy about asking when they’ve been tested. It might be awkward asking your new boo if he has Herpes, but it’s a lot less awkward than actually having Herpes.

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