Trichomoniasis

By: Megan Goyal and Sam Dumar

WHAT IS IT?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted diseases caused by an infection with a protozoan parasite called trichomoniasis vaginalis. It causes a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, denital itching, and painful urination in women.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

About 70% of infected people do not have any signs or symptoms. When trichomoniasis does cause symptoms, they can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation.

Men with trichomoniasis may notice:

  • Itching or irritation inside the penis;
  • Burning after urination or ejaculation;
  • Discharge from the penis.

Women with trichomoniasis may notice:

  • Itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals;
  • Discomfort with urination;
  • A change in their vaginal discharge that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish with an unusual fishy smell.

TREATMENT

Trichomoniasis can be treated with medication, either metronidazole or tinidazole. These pills are taken by mouth. It is safe for pregnant women to take this medication.

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. Wait 7- 10 days after you and your partner have been treated to have sex again.

PREVENTION

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

  • Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results;
  • Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. This can lower your chances of getting trichomoniasis. But the parasite can infect areas that are not covered by a condom - so condoms may not fully protect you from getting trichomoniasis.

COMPLICATION/ PREGNANCY

Trichomoniasis can increase the risk of getting or spreading other sexually transmitted infections. Trichomoniasis can cause genital inflammation that makes it easier to get infected with HIV or to pass HIV onto your partner. Pregnant women with trichomoniasis are more likely to have their babies too early/ preterm. Also, babies born to infected mothers are more likely to have a low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds).