Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Mycoplasma Genitallium: An Emerging Sexually Transmitted Infection

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Great! Just what we need another sexually transmitted infection to worry about. A report entitled "Mycoplasma genitalium among young adults in the United Stated: An emerging sexually transmitted infection," was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health (2007; 97(6): 1118-1125). The article reports research from the University of Washington that tested 1,714 women and 1,218 men ages 18 to 27 who took part in the Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. They found mycoplasma genitalium in 1 percent of the participants, gonorrhea in 0.3 percent, and chlamydia in 4.2 percent.

Mycoplasma genitalium can cause inflammation of the urethra in men and inflammation of the cervix and uterine lining in women, possibly leading to infertility. Most cases are asymptomatic and none of the infected participants had any unusual discharge. There are no commercial tests to test for this infection, in spite of the fact that it was first identified in the 1980's.

Photo Credit: zakwitnij

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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