A publication in the International Journal of Epidemiology sheds light on the 'new' STD called Mycoplasma genitalium, a.k.a. MG, a bacteria that can live in the urinary and genital tracts.
MG was first isolated by scientists in the 1980s.
Majority of women who have it experience bleeding after sex; some have unusual vaginal discharge, lower pelvic pain, pain during sex, and bleeding between periods.
To learn more about MG, researchers at University College London decided to analyze data from Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, which was a survey of more than 15,000 women and men ages 16 to 44. Participants in that survey answered questions about their sexual habits, history of STDs, and current STD symptoms.
They found that, for both genders, there was a strong association between MG and the number of sexual partners and unsafe sex someone had had in the last year. The scary part: 56 percent of the women who tested positive for MG reported having no STD symptoms (like vaginal discharge and pain during sex). However, they were more likely to experience bleeding after sex.
The researchers also took urine samples from 205 16- and 17-year-olds who reported never having had vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and the results all came back negative for MG. Those who reported only having had oral sex also tested negative for MG. That's why they now believe MG is transmitted sexually.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Use condoms.
As for getting diagnosed with MG, the researchers say that there is evolving technology that allows people to be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and MG at the same time—and they're hoping this soon becomes the standard test in hospitals.