It is estimated, more than five million cases of trichomoniasis occur each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and about 10% percent of women seeking treatment for an STD are shown to have the infection. Trichomoniasis (aka, “trich”) is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. It occurs in the vagina or cervix (or the urethra in men), and can only be passed from woman-to-man, or woman-to-woman for initial infection from sexual contact. Once a man has been infected he can pass the infection to a woman through sexual contact.
Women infected with trichomoniasis often experience symptoms within five to 28 days of exposure. They may have painful (burning) urination, a yellow-green vaginal discharge or bleeding with a strong odor. Intercourse may be uncomfortable when infected. Other symptoms include irritation and itching in the genital area and occasionally, those infected may experience lower abdominal pain.
A swabbed sample of the vaginal discharge taken by your doctor can be cultured to detect infection. Some questions to ask your doctor might include:
- How is trichomoniasis treated? Oral antibiotic like metronidazole or tinidazole is often given for treatment.
- Do I need to tell my sexual partner(s)? It is important to inform partners to avoid further spread of the STI. Partners should be treated at the same time to avoid passing the infection on, or re-infection. Men who have been infected must be treated even if they experience no symptoms or symptoms clear up on their own.
- Should I abstain from sexual contact while being treated? It is recommended to abstain until completing treatment and symptoms have cleared up.
- How can I prohibit getting trichomoniasis or other STDs? Correct use of condoms can reduce the risk of infection. The only way to prohibit the transmission of STIs is to abstain from sexual contact. When engaging in sexual contact, always practice safe sex which includes being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner tested and known to not be infected with any STIs.
- Is there any printed material I can look at, or websites I can review for more information? Your doctor can suggest some trusted resources for more information about STDs.
- What is the long term risk of trichomoniasis? Genital inflammation caused by trichomoniasis can increase a woman’s risk of contracting HIV and other STDs.
www.urologychannel.com STDs, Trichomoniasis
www.cdc.gov STD, Trichomoniasis
Check out EmpowHER’s page on Sexually Transmitted Diseases including trichomoniasis for more information.
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