Doctors say an uncommon sexually transmitted disease, Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), which often has no symptoms may pose a great health risk if people aren’t more cautious.
According to the experts, the disease can be mistaken for chlamydia and is more resistant to antibiotics.
The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) has released new guidelines on how to treat and diagnose the disease.
For women, it can cause pain or bleeding during se.x, burning sensation when urinating. It can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and ultimately infertility if left untreated
In men, it causes watery discharge from the penis and painful urination.
BASHH recommends that MG is treated with a seven-day course of the antibiotic, doxycycline, followed by a course of azithromycin.
It can also be treated by an antibiotic called macrolides, but the guidelines warned that MG is becoming increasingly resistant to it.
Although tests for MG have been developed they are not currently available at all clinics.
“These new guidelines have been developed because we can’t afford to continue with the approach we have followed for the past 15 years as this will undoubtedly lead to a public health emergency,” said Paddy Horner, senior lecturer in sexual health at Bristol University.
Peter Greenhouse, a sexual consultant in Bristol and BASHH member, advised that people be more cautious by using condoms.
“It’s about time the public learned about Mycoplasma genitalium,” Greenhouse said.
“It’s yet another good reason to pack the condo.ms for the summer holidays – and actually use them.”