Mycoplasma genitalium – the drug-resistant STI you may not have heard about

Mycoplasma genitalium – the drug-resistant STI you may not have heard about

If you’re having regular sex, especially if unprotected and/or with multiple partners, getting tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a good idea.

But did you know there’s one common, infertility-causing infection that is not routinely tested for by public health services, such as the NHS?

While you may not have heard of mycoplasma genitalium – also known as MGen – it’s important to be aware of it, as this infection is becoming more common in the UK and is often misdiagnosed as chlamydia or gonorrhoea.

This is because it shares some common symptoms with these better-known infections.

In this blog, we discuss mycoplasma genitalium, what it is, how we can test for it, and where you can order an STI test for this common infection.

What is mycoplasma genitalium?

Mycoplasma genitalium, also known as MGen, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that infects the genitals and urinary tract and is thought to affect around 1 in 100 people in the UK.

The infection can be passed on via sexual intercourse or through genital touching without penetration. 

Although many people with MGen are asymptomatic (will not have symptoms), men with symptoms can experience stinging or burning when urinating, discharge from the penis, inflammation of the urethra, and inflammation of the foreskin and penis.

In women, it can cause pain during sex, and bleeding and/or discharge from the vagina.

If left undiagnosed or untreated, MGen can cause long-term complications including sexually acquired reactive arthritis (SARA) and a painful swelling and infection of the testicles in men, and pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can damage the fallopian tubes, leading to infertility.

Why is testing for mycoplasma genitalium important?

Routine STI/STD testing for a range of pathogens not only gives you peace of mind that you’re keeping your sexual health in check, but also means that you can seek treatment for an infection more quickly if you receive a positive result.

This reduces the likelihood of worsening symptoms, and of you spreading infections to other people.

Although, surprisingly, there is currently no test for MGen available on the NHS, it is possible to test for this pathogen using leading health-testing laboratories like AlphaBiolabs.

Because the symptoms of MGen are so similar to chlamydia, it is crucial to test for both MGen and chlamydia at the same time, so that you can either confirm or rule out an MGen infection.

This is especially important as research has shown that MGen is commonly misdiagnosed as chlamydia and therefore treated with the wrong antibiotics, meaning that the infection has become resistant to certain antibiotics over time.

Fortunately, our 7-panel STI test can detect chlamydia as well as MGen, so you can be reassured that you will receive a 100% accurate, reliable result that will enable you to seek the correct treatment if you do have an infection.

Where can I buy an STI test for mycoplasma genitalium?

Our STI testing has been specifically designed so that you can collect your own sample quickly and discreetly at home, before returning it to our laboratory for expert analysis.

For just £95 with results in 2 days, our 7-panel STI test can be used to detect seven of the most common pathogens in the UK, including mycoplasma genitalium (MGen), chlamydia, gonorrhoea, mycoplasma hominis, trichomoniasis, ureaplasma parvum (UTI) and ureaplasma urealyticum (UTI).

Your test kit will be sent out in discreet, plain packaging, and simply requires a vaginal swab or a urine sample to be self-collected at home, before being returned to our laboratory.

All tests are performed at our UK laboratory, so you can be reassured your samples won’t be sent abroad.  Furthermore our STI testing has been developed in accordance with stringent BASHH, FSHR and MHRA guidelines.

Order your 7-panel STI test online now or explore our range of tests here.

For confidential advice and guidance, you can also contact our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email

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