Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by the organism Trichomonas Vaginalis. More women than men are affected by the disease; however, men can be infected and pass the infection to their significant other during sexual contact.
This STD is more common in younger women who are sexually active. There is an estimated 7.4 million new cases that occur each and every year.
How does someone know if they have Trichomoniasis?
Men usually don’t know if they have trichomoniasis because they do not have any symptoms, and many do not know they are infected unless their partner needs treatment. If symptoms do occur, they usually include:
- Slight burning after ejaculation or urination
- Mild discharge
- Sense of irritation inside of the penis
Women who have Trichomoniasis usually display the following symptoms:
- Lower abdominal pain, but this is rare
- Discomfort while having intercourse
- Painful urination
- Grotty, greenish-yellow vaginal discharge with very strong odor
In order to diagnose trichomoniasis, the doctor must perform a lab test and physical exam. The lab test is performed using a sample of urethral or vaginal fluid. The doctors will look for disease-causing parasites, although these parasites are harder to detect when looking at samples from men compared to women.
Trichomoniasis can be treated with the antibiotic known as (flagyl) metronidazole. Before you take this drug, know that it is very important to tell your doctor if there is any chance you are pregnant as this drug can harm your baby.
It is also wise for both you and your partner to get treated at the same time because the two of you will be less likely to re-infect one another. You should also refrain from having sex until the treatment is completed and you and your partner are showing no signs of infection. Even if you are feeling better, it is best to continue taking the medicine until you are done with the whole script.
What happens if only one person gets treated for Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis in pregnant women can cause premature rupture of the membranes that provide protection for the baby. It may also cause early delivery. Because of the genital inflammation associated with trichomoniasis, it may increase the risk a person has for contracting HIV infections.
To reduce the chance of contracting trichomoniasis infection, here are a few tips you should follow:
- If you think that you are infected, you should avoid sexual contact until you see a doctor.
- Limit sexual contact to only one person that is uninfected, or practice sexual abstinence.
- Use protection, such as condoms, every time you have sex.
If you experience any symptoms, such as unusual rash or sore, burning during urination, or discharge, you should stop having sex and talk with your doctor as soon as possible. Notify all sexual partners if you are diagnosed with an STD, including trichomoniasis.