Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is passed on from an infected person to his or her partner during sexual intercourse.
Very often referred to as trich, this sexually transmitted disease affects both men and women; although the symptoms are more commonly noted in women.
What Causes Trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite, which is a single-celled organism.
Symptoms Of Trichomoniasis
Most often, symptoms are exhibited only in women. However, men do suffer from trichomoniasis and remain carriers of this disease for several years. Since this is a disease that mainly affects the urethrogenital tract, most symptoms are associated with this region.
In women, the symptoms are noticed in the vagina and the urethra. The disease can be present inside the body for several years without any signs or symptoms. A smelly discharge that is yellowish-green in color is a sure sign of trichomoniasis.
Other symptoms include vaginal itching and pain in the vagina. The opening of the vagina becomes inflamed and there is severe irritation around that region. Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse) is experienced. There is also pain and a burning sensation during micturition (urination).
In men, symptoms are very rarely present. When symptoms do present, they are very obvious symptoms of trichomoniasis. Inflammation at the tip of the penis is noted. There is some amount of discomfort during micturition (urination). During sexual intercourse, pain during ejaculation is experienced. Sometimes, an abnormal penile discharge is noticed. The semen has a foul and fishy smell that is characteristic of this disease. Very rarely, pain and swelling is noticed in the scrotum.
Testing For Trichomoniasis
A pelvic examination is done by using a speculum, and then a specimen is collected from the vagina for further testing. The parasite is best viewed under a microscope. Since people suffering from trichomoniasis are susceptible to other STDs, tests are conducted for other STDs as well.
Treatment Of Trichomoniasis
The most effective treatment of trichomoniasis is oral medication. While there are gels that are available, these are not as effective as the oral medication. Pregnant women should opt for the gels until after the pregnancy, when they can switch to oral medication.
Alcohol must be avoided when on these medications and for three days after, as the combination of the medication and alcohol can cause nausea, vomiting and headaches.
Prevention of Trichomoniasis
Abstinence is the only way that trichomoniasis and any other sexually transmitted disease can be prevented. Having sex with only one partner who is not infected is another way to make sure you do not contract this disease.
Avoid sex with multiple partners. During sexual intercourse, always use a condom. If you suspect that your partner suffers from an STD use protection or abstain from sexual intercourse until further testing rules out any disease.
Act responsibly. If you are aware that you suffer from trichomoniasis or from any other sexually transmitted disease, let your sexual partner know about it and abstain from sexual intercourse until you are treated and cured of the disease.
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