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Mycoplasma Genitalium Detected In Jamaica In ‘Frightening’ Numbers

Move over Gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia and company. There is a new Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) on the block. Introducing to Jamaica: Mycoplasma Genitalium.

Mycoplasma Genitalium has been found in DNA sample taken at labs throughout the island of Jamaica. What is most worrying about this disease, is that it does not show immediate symptoms, but stays with you and affects you later on in life.

The bacteria borne disease was found incidentally, as there is rarely a test done specifically for the disease. It was found while checking for the traditional diseases such as gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia. Because it was incidentally found, it has already spread at an alarming rate.

Compton Beecher, who is the chief DNA analyst at the Caribbean Genetics (CARIGEN), has found that a number of Jamaican men and women have unknowingly contracted Mycoplasma genitalium, which often does not show any symptoms until later in life.

If left untreated, this STI can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, pain during sex, burning sensations while urinating and reoccurring infections.

“The frightening thing is that we are seeing so much of it and it is something that we don’t normally look for,” said Beecher, who has been a forensic scientist for more than 20 years.

Source: The Gleaner

What is Mycoplasma Genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium is a small pathogenic bacterium that lives on the cells of the urinary and genital tracts in humans. It is a sexually transmitted pathogen which can cause significant morbidity in men and women, and is a co-factor in HIV transmission. Specifically, it causes urethritis (inflammation of the urinary tract) both in men and women, and also cervicitis (inflammation of cervix) and pelvic inflammation in women.

Transmission

Mycoplasma genitalium is spread through vaginal and anal sexual intercourse. It can also be spread through foreplay (genital touching and rubbing) and oral sex.

Symptoms

Men may notice a discharge and/or burning or irritation when urinating. Women may notice: an unusual vaginal discharge, pain during sex, bleeding after sex and between periods, lower pelvic pain. As stated before, some men and women may never see any of these symptoms.

Treatment

Since it is a bacteria, treatment is via antibiotics.

Protection

Using a condom during sex partially protects you from Mycoplasma genitalium, as it can also be spread via oral sex and during foreplay (through the hands). The best prevention is abstinence.

Mycoplasma Genitalium in Jamaica

Since this is an incidental discovery, and it is being seen in frightening numbers here in Jamaica, it is best to take it very seriously. Remember, it is a silent disease that may stay with you for years before starting to take its toll. Take note of Mycoplasma genitalium, and take the necessary precautions to safeguard your health.

 

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