What is Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis (sometimes called “trich”) is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). In the United States, an estimated 3.7 million people have the infection, but only 30 percent show any symptoms. Trichomoniasis is found more often in women, and older women are more likely to be infected than younger women.
The infection is caused by a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is spread from person to person during unprotected sex. The parasite is usually passed from penis to vagina and vice versa, but can also be passed from vagina to vagina.
The most commonly infected part of the body is the lower genital tract for women, and the urethra in men. Though a person infected with trichomoniasis may not display any symptoms, they can still pass the infection on to others.
Symptoms of trich
The majority of individuals infected with trichomoniasis do not have any symptoms. When symptoms are displayed, they can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation, usually within five to 28 days after being infected.
Symptoms of the trichomoniasis STD can come and go. Males with trichomoniasis may have a burning sensation during urination or ejaculation, itching or irritation inside the penis, or some discharge from the penis.
Women with trichomoniasis may also have a burning sensation during urination, genital itchiness or soreness, or a white, clear, yellow or greenish discharge with a strong smell.
Having trichomoniasis can make sex feel uncomfortable. If the infection is not treated, it can last for months or years.
Diagnosis of trichomoniasis (trich)
A laboratory test is needed to confirm diagnosis of trichomoniasis.
Trichomoniasis is fairly easy to cure, and is treated with a single oral dose of prescription antibiotic medication (either metronidazole or tinidazole).
Those who have had trichomoniasis and have been treated for it in the past can be treated again if necessary. Approximately one in five people contract the infection again within three months after treatment.
If someone is infected with trichomoniasis, they and all of their sexual partners should be treated. It is also important to wait until all symptoms have gone away before having sex, and to seek treatment again if symptoms return.
Other trichomoniasis risks & concerns
To reduce the risk of trichomoniasis infection, latex condoms should be used correctly during each sexual encounter. However, since condoms don’t cover everything, it is still possible to get or spread the infection.
Pregnant women should be tested for STDs. Those infected with trichomoniasis have a higher risk of a preterm delivery, and infants born to infected mothers are more likely to be underweight (less than 5.5 pounds).