Ipswich conference hears sexually transmitted Mycoplasma Genitalium is ‘new Chlamydia’ and can show no symptoms

The conference was held at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich

The conference was held at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk sexual health consultant has called for more to be done to tackle “the new Chlamydia on the block”, which can cause female infertility.

Dr Sarah Edwards spoke about Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG) at a women’s health conference at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich today, which was aimed at professionals.

Two or three people in every 100 might have it, Dr Edwards said, but testing for the condition is not routinely available for practitioners in the UK due to financial constraints and lack of awareness.

Dr Edwards said at the meeting: “This will be an extra cost. Currently with the squeeze particularly on sexual health money is tight and money is getting tighter everywhere but we are looking at 20% cuts. To make a case for doing more we have got to have a real cast-iron case to do so.”

Research shows the bacteria can be sexually transmitted and, like Chlamydia, will usually show few to no symptoms.

However, Dr Edwards said MG could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and female infertility.

Testing for MG is recommended in new PID guidelines, Dr Edwards said, but not all health professionals will have the facilities to screen patients.

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The condition can be treated with the antibiotics Azithromycin, which MG can develop a resistance to, and Moxifloxacin, which can carry “nasty” side-effects.

Dr Edwards, who works for iCash Suffolk, added: “The challenge is working out who has got it for a start.”

Responding to a question from the audience, asking if more needed to be done to make people aware of MG, Dr Edwards said: “I think that’s a really difficult message for people to be told, that there is this stuff out there you need to be really careful of but I won’t be able to tell you when you have got it and I’m not sure how effective treatment will be. We have got a lot of catching up to do.

“The need for education is huge, but where do you focus it? On people who can make a difference on health outcomes or the general public? And how do we get the message out?”

“I think it would be would wrong to scaremonger about it if we can’t actually deal with it.”