A parasite is a cause for the sexually transmitted disease Trichomoniasis. Painful urination, unpleasant-smelling vaginal discharges, and genital itching can be caused by Trichomoniasis in women. There are usually no symptoms in men who are infected with Trichomoniasis. A high risk of giving birth prematurely would be the cause of Trichomoniasis in pregnant women.
Both partners must be treated to prevent reinfection with Trichomoniasis. One megadose taken orally of metronidazole is the usual treatment for Trichomoniasis. The risk of infection is also reduced by correctly using condoms every time you engage in a sexual activity.
Most men and many women infected with Trichomoniasis will not show any symptoms at the onset of the infection. In women, signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain during sexual intercourse or urination
- Copious and often unpleasant smelling discharges that may be colored green, white, gray or yellow
- Genital itching, redness, and burning
In men, Trichomoniasis seldom causes symptoms, but if they do, it may include:
- Discharges from the penis
- Irritation inside the penis
- Burning sensation after ejaculation or during urination
Any unpleasant smelling discharges from the vagina or pain during sexual intercourse or urination should be consulted with the doctor right away.
A tiny one-celled protozoan parasite causes Trichomoniasis which travels between two partners during sexual contact. It is thought that it would take between five to 28 days for the start of the incubation period between infection and exposure.
Risk factors for getting infected with Trichomoniasis include:
- Unsafe sex practice of not using a condom during sex
- Several different sex partners
- A previous Trichomoniasis infection
- Previous infections with other sexually transmitted diseases
Pregnant women getting infected with Trichomoniasis may:
- Pass the infection to the baby during birth
- Have Premature delivery
- Give a low birth weight to the baby
It will also be easier for HIV, the virus that progresses to AIDS, to infect women who are also infected with Trichomoniasis.
A medical practitioner, family physician or a gynecologist at any health centers, clinics, and hospitals can prescribe treatment after diagnosing the infection for Trichomoniasis.
A list can be prepared before the appointment which may include:
- Sexual partners that you’ve had for the past years
- A description of the symptoms including the time it first started
- List of previous sexually transmitted diseases that you’ve had
For women, a pelvic exam will be performed where vaginal fluids will be taken as a sample for testing.
A sample of urine for men and vaginal fluid for women viewed under the microscope can confirm a diagnosis of Trichomoniasis. In the past, it was usual to grow a culture as a way of diagnosing Trichomoniasis, but modern scientific technology has come up with faster and newer tests such as the nucleic acid amplification and rapid antigen tests which are now commonly used.
Drugs and treatment
Even for pregnant women, oral intake of one big dose of either tinidazole or metronidazole is the most common treatment for curing the Trichomoniasis infection. Sexual intercourse should be avoided until the full-one week treatment is over. Alcohol should also be avoided within 24 hours after drug dosage as it can cause severe vomiting.