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Telling your partners about Mycoplasma genitalium

Below you’ll find answers to some of the questions people ask about Mycoplasma Genitalium and contacting their partners.

For more information on Mycoplasma genitalium (Fact Sheets) click here.

Please click on the question listed below for further information.

 
° HOW common is Mycoplasma genitalium?

There are few studies to tell us how common Mycoplasma genitalium is, however a recent study in young Australian women aged 17-26 years found it occurred in 2% and was about half as common as Chlamydia.

   
 
° WHY do I need to contact my sexual partners?

Mycoplasma genitalium is passed from one person to another by sexual contact.

If you have Mycoplasma genitalium, then it is very likely that one or more of your sexual partners also have this infection.

Telling your sexual partners is important because it:

  • is the only way most people will know they have this infection
  • stops you getting the infection back again
  • shows your partner that you care about them
  • reduces the chance of your partner developing serious problems such as infertility.
  • stops your partner passing the infection to others

Remember, most men and women with Mycoplasma genitalium don’t have any symptoms and so they don’t know they have the infection.


   
 
° WHICH partners do I need to contact?

We suggest you contact anyone you’ve had unprotected sex with in the last 3-6 months or, if you haven’t had sex with anyone during that time, your most recent sexual partner.

   
 
° WHAT do I need to tell them?

You need to tell your partners that they:

  • may be at risk of having Mycoplasma genitalium
  • need to get tested and treated for this infection by a doctor. It is important to understand that testing for Mycoplasma genitalium  is only available in a few clinical services, like Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, so it may only be possible for your partner(s) to get treatment but not tested and to contact their other partners (if they have Mycoplasma genitalium)             
   
 
° HOW do I go about telling them?


Most people prefer their partners to talk to them face-to-face or over the phone about this issue.

However, if this is not possible, or you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then think of using other methods such as email, SMS or a letter in the post.

Remember, you don’t have to explain everything to your partners. Just give your partners our Fact Sheet or tell then to:

   
 
° WHEN do I tell them?

 

It’s important to tell your partners as soon as possible. The sooner they get tested and treated the better. If you put it off, you might never get around to doing it

   
 
° WHAT if I don’t want my partner(s) to know that I have Mycoplasma genitalium?


While people respond best when they know who is contacting them, we understand that sometimes you may feel awkward, embarrassed or even frightened about doing this. So, if you really don’t want your partner to know who you are, you can:

  • send an anonymous email from this website
  • send an anonymous SMS
  • send or drop in a letter that you don’t sign.
  • ask your doctor if she/he can help you contact your partner(s)

In the end, it doesn’t really matter what method you use to contact your partner. The most important thing is TO LET YOUR PARTNERS KNOW THEY ARE AT RISK.

   
 
° WHAT if my partner’s Mycoplasma genitalium test is negative?


There are several reasons why your partner’s Mycoplasma genitalium test may come back negative:

  • He or she may never have had the infection. Not everyone who comes in contact with Mycoplasma genitalium will develop the infection.

  • He or she may have got rid of the infection by the time the test is done, often by taking antibiotics for other reasons.
  • The test result may be a false negative. (False negative - and false positive - results can occur with any laboratory test). This is why we recommend all partners be treated with antibiotics, even before the test result is known.
   
 
 

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