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An STD You’ve Never Heard of Could Be the Next Superbug

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In response to an emerging STD known as MG (Mycoplasma genitalium), the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV has released new advice on how to spot and treat the disease. Experts warn that, if left unmonitored, MG could become the next “superbug,” thanks to the disease’s growing resistance to antibiotics.

Though MG (Mycoplasma genitalium) was first identified in the ’80s, it has remained relatively unknown; currently, it affects about 1 to 2 percent of the population in the U.K., according to the BBC. Most people who have it don’t know they have it, making it harder to detect, and harder to prevent — even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass the infection to others, who may or may not experience symptoms, and may then pass it on again. When MG does present symptoms, it can cause inflammation of the urethra in men, as well as inflammation of the womb and the Fallopian tubes in women. These symptoms can be accompanied by fever, bleeding, and painful urination. If left untreated, these symptoms can eventually lead to infertility in women. MG is also sometimes misdiagnosed as other STDs, like chlamydia, which complicates treatment.

MG isn’t the only STD with increasing resistance to antibiotics — last year, the World Health Organization warned of new “super” strains of untreatable gonorrhea. In the U.S., STDs are at an all-time high, with experts citing lack of health-care resources and the stigma associated with STD testing as contributing factors. To better protect oneself from contracting an STD in the first place, experts strongly recommend using condoms, dental dams, and/or other relevant forms of STD protection.

An STD You’ve Never Heard of Could Be the Next Superbug