First identified in the 1980s, the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) remains relatively unknown to the American public, compared to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like chlamydia. According to a 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MG is more common in most settings than the bacteria behind gonorrhea, called Neisseria gonorrhea.
According to medical professionals, the prevalence of MG is especially concerning because most people infected with the bacteria do not know they have the disease. Symptoms can be non-specific and non-existent. Left untreated, MG can produce devastating health problems including urethritis, cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Not only can the STD be difficult to diagnose, MG is also becoming more resistant to antibiotic drugs. Resistance to treatment has become a worldwide issue with with studies from Japan, Australia and the United States all showing cases of treatment failure. 72% of sexual health experts said that if current practices do not change, MG will become a superbug, resistant to 1st and 2nd line antibiotics, within a decade.