The 'stealth' STI that makes women infertile

Patrick Sheandell O'Carroll via Getty Images

The bacteria can live in the urinary and genital tracts of men and women, which allows it to be passed on sexually.

The few symptoms are similar to chlamydia, but MG is more resistant to treatment.

MG can cause the inflammation of reproductive organs for women, which could ultimately lead to infertility. It is best treated by a course of the antibiotic doxycycline, followed by a course of azithromycin.

This common mistake has meant the bug has been quietly getting stronger and more prevalent - and because it has been treated with the wrong drugs is now very resistant to any antibiotic. What are the symptoms of this STI and potential effects of untreated infection?

The infection has been around since the 1980s, but was discovered as a sexually-transmitted infection (STI) in November 2015 after a study found a link between the bacteria and having sex.

Doctors warned that the sexually transmitted disease Mycoplasma genitalium, or MG, could become resistant to standard antibiotics.

However, the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) has laid down the guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of Mycoplasma genitalium.

First identified in the 1980s, mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is hard to diagnose because it causes few or no symptoms, but the complications can be unsafe.

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"The new guidelines will be helpful, but unless and until we get funds so we can regularly test for it, we'll be in the dark about which women with pelvic inflammatory disease have got it and about what their true risk of long term complications are", Greenhouse told CNN.

MG bacteria can spread through unprotected sex with someone infected by it and can be prevented by using condoms. The NHS states that tests for this condition have only recently been developed and are not available in all clinics yet.

Paddy Horner, who co-wrote the guidelines, said: "These new guidelines have been developed, because we can't afford to continue with the approach we have followed for the past 15 years as this will undoubtedly lead to a public health emergency with the emergence of MG as a superbug".

"I think clinics should test for MG as part of their sexual health screening process, as this would have been picked up at the start for me".

"It's yet another good reason to pack the condoms for the summer holidays - and actually use them".

He called on the Government to make funding available for testing "to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiralling out of control".

"Everyone can protect themselves from STIs by consistently and correctly using condoms with new and casual partners".

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