Trichomonasis is a sexually transmitted parasitic disease which does not often shows any symptoms. It is one of the most common curable STIs.
In females, the parasite can be found in vulva, vagina, cervix or urethra. In males, it infects insides of the penis (urethra). The parasite may not infect other parts of the body like hands, anus or mouth.
Trich is spread from an infected person to an uninfected person during sex. It can be transmitted from penis to vagina, from vagina to penis or even from vagina to vagina. Thus women can catch the infection from infected men or women, while men generally catch it from infected women.
In 70% of cases there are no symptoms accompanying this infection. However, the men who do show symptoms may experience:
1. Itching or irritation inside the penis;
2. Burning after urination or ejaculation;
3. Discharge from the penis.
Women with trichomoniasis may notice:
1. Itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals;
2. Discomfort with urination;
3. A change in their vaginal discharge (i.e. thin discharge or increased volume) that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish with an unusual fishy smell.
These symptoms can come and go.
Trichomoniasis can increase the risk of contracting or transmitting other STIs including HIV.
In pregnant women it can lead to premature birth and low birth weight of the baby.
Urine test or swab test may be used to determine the presence of the parasite in genitals.
The risk of contracting trich can be minimized by practicing safer sex i.e. using condoms during sex. Another way to eliminate the risk is by being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results.
Trich can be treated by taking prescribed medication. It is recommended to take medication by mouth rather than application of any cream or gel on the infected part.
It is not recommended to drink alcohol within 24 hours after taking this medication since it can cause severe nausea and other side effects.
People who have been treated for trichomoniasis can get it again. About 1 in 5 people get infected again within 3 months after receiving treatment. To avoid getting reinfected, make sure that all of your sex partners get treated. Also, wait 7- 10 days after you and your partner have been treated to have sex again.