What Are The Symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium?

Woman with Doctor in Hospital. Terry Vine/Blend Images/Getty Images

Question: What Are The Symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium?

Answer: Mycoplasma often has no symptoms. When  present, Mycolasma genitalium symptoms vary a lot.

Mycoplasma genitalium, otherwise known as MG, has only recently started to be recognized as a problem.  Although a relatively common organism, until recently it has usually been associated with other diagnoses rather than tested for on its own. Scientists, however, are beginning to give it the attention it deserves as a sexually transmitted disease pathogen.

This is because of a growing recognition that it causes many cases of the diseases it was previously thought to be only somewhat associated with. For example, it is a major cause of both bacterial vaginosis (BV) and non-gonoccocal urethritis (NGU). 

Mycoplasma Genitalium Symptoms in Women:

Symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium in Men:

  • urethral discharge
  • burning on urination
  • pain and swelling of the joints (arthritis)
  • many cases have no symptoms
  • Mycoplasma is the most common cause of non-chlamydial non-gonoccocal urethritis in men.

Mycoplasma genitalium symptoms are similar to those of other bacterial STDs. These non-specific symptoms are easily mistaken for those of chlamydia and gonorrhea. That is why testing is so important. Wherever possible, it should be done before treatment can begin.

Each of the different bacterial STDs needs to be treated with a different antibiotic regimen. Therefore, it's important for the doctor to know what you have before they prescribe medication. Although sometimes doctors will try treating based on symptoms, that's not advisable. Treating based on symptoms is called syndromic treatment or syndromic management.

Unfortunately, it is not very effective for STDs. Syndromic management often leads to use of the wrong antibiotics. Not only does that not cure the STD, it could increase the problem of antibiotic resistance

Learn more about the symptoms of other STDs here.


Anagrius C et al. "Mycoplasma genitalium: prevalence, clinical significance, and transmission" Sex Transm Infect 2005; 81: 458-462

Otieno FO, Ndivo R, Oswago S, Ondiek J, Pals S, McLellan-Lemal E, Chen RT, Chege W, Gray KM. Evaluation of syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections within the Kisumu Incidence Cohort Study. Int J STD AIDS. 2014 Oct;25(12):851-9. doi: 10.1177/0956462414523260.

Patel AL, Chaudhry U, Sachdev D, Sachdeva PN, Bala M, Saluja D. An insight into the drug resistance profile & mechanism of drug resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Indian J Med Res. 2011 Oct;134:419-31. 

Pettifor A, Walsh J, Wilkins V, Raghunathan P. How effective is syndromic management of STDs?: A review of current studies. Sex Transm Dis. 2000 Aug;27(7):371-85.

Tosh AK et al. "Mycoplasma genitalium among adolescent women and their partners." J Adolesc Health. 2007 May;40(5):412-7.

Continue Reading