Trichomoniasis – Symptoms in Men & Women
Trichomoniasis is a very common STD found in both men and women today. Commonly abbreviated as “trich”, it is easily transmitted from man to woman and from woman to woman. Fortunately, trichomoniasis is treatable with common medications once it is diagnosed in either sex.
What Is Trichomoniasis?
It is estimated that that 7.4 million new cases of trichomoniasis are diagnosed each year. The infection is more common in young sexually active women than in men. This infection is caused by the passing of a single celled protozoan parasite from one sexual partner to another. Trichomonas vaginalis is the official name of the parasite. This parasite is most commonly found in the vagina in women and in the urethra in men.
How Is Trichomoniasis Transmitted?
Generally trichomoniasis is only transmitted between men and women or women and women. Men can general only contract this infection from a woman and not from a man. It is passed between sexual partners when fluids are exchanged. For men and women this would be through penis and vagina sex and for two women the transmission occurs when there is vulva to vulva contact. trichomoniasis is not transmitted through anal or oral sex as the parasite cannot live in the mouth or anus.
How Do I Know If I Have Trichomoniasis?
In most cases there are almost no signs or symptoms of the infection in either men or women. A visit to the clinic for a STD test is required to determine if you have contracted the infection and if the infection you have is trichomoniasis. Your doctor can give you a test for this infection specifically if you think you may have been exposed. However, if you are not sure what your infection might be, your doctor can test for various STD’s.
Trichomoniasis Symptoms In Women
While symptoms are rare, women who have symptoms of the infection will often experience vaginal discharge. Usually this discharge is yellow-green and has a very strong odor. Discomfort during urination and vaginal sex is also another common symptom in women who have trichomoniasis. It is also not uncommon for a woman to experience itching in the genital area. In most cases if a woman is going to experience any symptoms of trichomoniasis, the symptoms will usually occur within 5-28 days of infection.
Trichomoniasis Symptoms In Men
Most men do not experience any symptoms or signs of trichomoniasis. However, in rare cases a man may experience short term discomfort due to the infection. This usually occurs as irritation in the penis, a mild case of discharge, or there may be a slight burning during ejaculation or after urination.
How Is Trichomoniasis Diagnosed And Tested?
A doctor must conduct a physical exam and complete tests to determine whether or not a person has trichomoniasis. In men it can be very difficult to diagnose this infection. However, a physical examination will reveal red sores inside the vagina or on the cervix of the woman.
Trichomoniasis Treatment – How Is Trichomoniasis Treated?
The treatment for trichomoniasis is very simple. Patients are required to take a single dose of Metronidazole or Tinidazole. These antibiotics are taken orally. Individuals being treated for trichomoniasis are also advised to avoid any sex until they have completed the treatment and show no symptoms of the infection.
What Happens If Trichomoniasis Is Not Treated?
If this infection is not treated, several complications can occur. If a woman who has the infection becomes pregnant her chances of delivery early and having a low weight baby are significant. Many babies are less than 5.5 pounds and born weeks earlier than they are supposed to be born. Women who have the infection are also at greater risk for contracting HIV if they are exposed to the virus. If a woman has HIV, trichomoniasis can make it easier to pass the virus to her sexual partner.
Can Trichomoniasis Be Cured?
If the correct medication is given, trichomoniasis can be easily cured. For men and women the signs and symptoms usually disappear within a few days of taking the medication. However, each partner must be treated and the partners should not have sex until the specified date given by the doctor. Otherwise reinfection could occur. After all, even when you are treated for the infection there is no guarantee that you will never contract the infection again.