Symptoms of Mycoplasmosis


The mycoplasma bacterium can cause various types of symptoms depending on the site of infection

The mycoplasma bacterium can cause various types of symptoms depending on the site of infection. The most common site of infection is the urethra in males and the cervix in females. In patients with co-morbid HIV infection the symptoms of Mycoplasmosis will be worse.

The most common symptoms are briefly discussed:

  • Asymptomatic

Many people experience no symptoms even when they are infected with the mycoplasma genitalium bacterium. Even though they do not have any symptoms they are still able to transmit the infection to their sexual partners. Some woman may not have any symptoms but Mycoplasmosis may be a reason for infertility.

  • Discharge

Penile or vaginal discharge may be a symptom of mycoplasmosis. This discharge varies from being white to yellow. Some people may report that the discharge is itchy or gives them a burning sensation. In some women the discharge may appear blood stained. This is usually an indication of cervicitis.

  • Dysuria

Mycoplasmosis may cause pain during urination. This is usually described as a burning sensation when urine is passed.

  • Urethritis

In men, mycoplasmosis may cause infection and inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube in the penis through which urine flows. Mycoplasma genitalium is a common cause of nongonococcal urethritis in men. It has been recently discovered that mycoplasma genitalium accounts for about 20-35% of all non-chlamydial and non-gonococcal urethritis. Urethritis may present as dysuria, penile discharge, difficulty urinating and pain in the urethra.

  • Vaginal itching

Sometimes the only symptom in women is vaginal itching which can cause the patient a lot of discomfort and embarrassment. During examination the vulva may appear red due to inflammation and if the patient has been scratching the area.

  • Reactive arthritis

Inflammation of the joints can occur in someone with Mycoplasma genitalium due to an auto-immune response of the body against the bacterium. This results in painful joints and may even develop once the triggering infection has been cured.

  • Pelvic Inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease causes chronic lower abdominal pain in women and may also be a cause of infertility. Mycoplasma genitalium is becoming a more common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease. More studies are being done in this regard. Women with pelvic inflammatory disease usually present with chronic lower abdominal pain.

  • Vaginal bleeding during sexual intercourse

Women who are infected with the mycoplasma bacteria may complain of some vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse.

  • Conjunctivitis

It has been found that mycoplasma genitalium may also cause conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is infection of the conjunctiva of the eye. Mycoplasma genitalium may cause chronic conjunctivitis. The bacterium may cause discharge of the eye but may also just cause chronic redness and itchiness of one or both eyes. It is important for the medical professional to consider mycoplasma genitalium to be a cause of chronic conjunctivitis.