Sexually Transmitted Infections are all too prevalent, with the majority being avoided (*cough cough HANX*) and also treatable with a simple course of antibiotics. However, there is a growing concern that some STI’s are becoming resistant to treatment, and these are known as ‘superbugs.’
What are Superbug STI’s?
A superbug is an informal term for a bacterium that has become resistant to antibiotics, which we usually use to treat it. For example super gonorrhoea- a sexually transmitted bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, that is resistant to most if not all the antibiotics that we have available. With the rise of super gonorrhoea over recent years, pubic health professionals are very aware of this growing class of bacteria that are becoming resistant to antibiotics.
What is MGen?
Recently, Public Health England have identified that mycoplasma genitalium (MGen for short) is on it’s way to becoming a new superbug. MGen is a bacterium that is transmitted via sex and lives in humans’ genital and urinary tracts. If you have the infection, you may feel pain, pain on urination, sex or simply pelvic pain. But worryingly, many people do not have any symptoms at all, and like with other STI’s, if you go without treatment for long periods of time, this can cause internal damage and even infertility. What’s more, you can be passing on the infection to many others unknowingly. If you’re having new sexual partners, this is even more reason to get STI checks regularly.
What are we doing about it?
The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) have offered advice to health professionals on the treatment for such superbugs. This includes how to prescribe antibiotics sparingly and with more space between doses, with the aim of eradicating all bacteria without leaving behind any resilient forms (that then replicate).
How do you protect yourself from MGen?
You guessed it. Condoms. It is spread via genital contact and sexual intercourse, so by wearing a condom you are creating a barrier to these infections. Be sure to get regular checks and ultimately look after your sexual wellness by staying protected.