If you thought chlamydia was scary, meet Mycoplasma genitalium, the new STI you've never heard of.
Also known as MG or MGen, the bacteria-based infection is passed through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Unfortunately, most people don't know if they have MGen because a majority of people do not show symptoms.
The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV are leading the charge on informing the public about MGen. They fear that the STI may become a "superbug" in the next decade.
Currently, there is no approved test for MGen making it extraordinarily difficult to diagnose and treat. Doctors often misdiagnose it as chlamydia and gonorrhea. This can make the STI more resistant to antibiotics.
Symptoms in men often present in issues with urination. For women, it can present as pain during sex, abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. If you're concerned that you've contracted an STI, visit your doctor for testing and consultation.
Without proper treatment, MGen can lead to infertility in women caused by inflammation of the cervix and pelvic inflammatory disease. Men may have issues with the urethra. A full list of symptoms can be found here.
Practicing safe sex is an important part of being sexually active. For many of us, that's much easier said than done. It can mean different things to different people and we aren't always taught the best way to protect ourselves.
Safe sex in a committed monogamous relationship looks different than for single people. Just because you've been with your beau two weeks, doesn't mean you should stop using condoms.
If nothing else, get tested regularly, talk to your partner(s) and use condoms.
Safe sex goes so much further than pregnancy protection. If you want to learn more about safe sex and sexuality, visit Scarleteen for medically accurate and accessible sex ed.