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Scientists believe that they have discovered a new sexually transmitted infection, and researchers say one percent of sexually active people in the United Kingdom have been infected.

According to RT, there is evidence that suggests Mycoplasma genitalium, MG for short, is transferred through sexual intercourse. It does not produce many symptoms, and most people who carry the infection show no signs of the disease. However, it has been associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, discharge, testicular pain and bleeding after sex (in women).

According to Glamour, the bacterial infection of the urinary and genital tracts was first discovered in 1981. However in more recent years, scientists began to notice that there’s a connection between the infection and sexual activity.

“MG is a bacterium that was present in around one percent of the general population aged 16 to 44 years, who had reported at least one sexual partner,” said Nigel Field of Public Health England. “The study adds to the accumulating evidence-base that MG causes infection in some men and women, and the study found that women with MG were more likely to report bleeding after sexual activity.”

Field continued:

“However, over 90 percent of men and more than half of women with MG had no symptoms. It may be that MG does not cause illness in all individuals in whom the infection is detected.”

Testing for MG “not yet widely available in the UK” and more research into the “clinical consequences of MG infection” is still underway.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, revealed that the disease was more prevalent in those who reported having more than four sexual partners in the past year.

“As for all STIs, prevention measures promoting increased condom use and a reduction in sexual risk behaviors are likely to play an important role in efforts to control MG,” said Field.

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