Trichomoniasis or Trich as known in layman terms is a common sexually transmitted disease that occurs due to the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Although it occurs in both men and women, the latter is more susceptible to this infection and generally happens due to sexual contact.
This common STI is a severely contagious disease but can be treated if diagnosed in the initial stages. But if the symptoms are not understood on time, it can even cause severe conditions like HIV or AIDS. Also Read: World AIDS Day 2019: All You Need To Know About HIV
About 70% of the population affected by Trich may not show any initial symptoms making it hard to diagnose. It is very common in western countries and can generally pass from one person to another due to unprotected sexual activities and even through sexual devices.
Women mostly get this infection in their external genitalia i.e. cervix, urethra, vulva, and vagina, whereas men get infected not only in the penile tissue but also in the prostate gland. It can also pass on even if there are no visible symptoms and there is no penetration.
Pregnant women getting infected with Trichomoniasis can have a premature delivery, pass on the infection to the baby during normal delivery, or have a smaller baby with low body weight.
People having multiple sexual partners, or performing intercourse without protection, or having a past medical history of any other STD are more likely to get infected with the Trichomoniasis infection. Also Read: Chlamydia – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Women typically don’t show any initial signs and symptoms. Once infected, it takes almost 5 to 28 days for the visible signs to come up. The various signs and symptoms in both genders include:
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge, which can be white, gray, yellow, or green,
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Soreness, swelling, and redness of the genitals as in the case of vaginal yeast infection
- Genital burning or itching
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Painful urination or intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen as in the case of appendicitis
- White discharge from the penis
- Painful and burning sensation while urinating
- Frequent urination
- Painful intercourse
- Swelling, soreness, and redness of the penile tissue
Diagnosis and Treatment
Trichomoniasis is quite sneaky and can spread even unnoticed. Although it may take time for the initial symptoms to crop up, it is advisable for people who are at risk of getting this STD, to go for regular check-ups to avoid any serious health conditions. Once noticed, go for immediate medical assistance. Your doctor would diagnose Trich by proper physical examination, gathering knowledge about past medical history followed by a series of test which includes:
- Cell cultures
- Antigen tests to know about the Trichomonas parasite
- Swab tests of the vaginal fluid (for women) and semen (for men)
- Urine test for both male and female
Once diagnosed, it is easily treated by antibiotics. Even though only one of the partners gets infected with this STD, it is strictly advisable for both of them to get medically treated. The doctor most likely suggests refraining from any sexual activities during the time of treatment to prevent any further infection.