Trichomoniasis (Trich)

Trichomoniasis (Trich): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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Trichomoniasis is a widespread infection caused by a parasite that is sexually transmitted. A foul-smelling vaginal discharge, genital itching and painful urination may cause trichomoniasis in women. Usually, men who show trichomoniasis have no symptoms. Pregnant women who have trichomoniasis could be at greater risk of prematurely delivering their infants. Both partners should be treated in order to avoid reinfection with the organism which causes trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is most commonly handled with one megadose of metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax). By correctly using condoms during the time of intercourse, you will reduce the risk of infection.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis

Understanding Trichomoniasis Symptoms

Trichomoniasis is easily passed on through unprotected vaginal sex (when the penis goes into the vagina) with someone who has the infection – even if they don’t have any symptoms. Trichomoniasis can’t be passed on through oral or anal sex kissing or hugging.

Signs and symptoms of trichomoniasis  in women include:

  • A frequent foul-smelling discharge from the vagina, which may be white, gray, yellow or green
  • Pain in the lower stomach.
  • Redness of the genitals as well as burning & scratching
  • Urination discomfort.
  • Thin, white discharge from the tip of the penis.

In men, trichomoniasis seldom has symptoms. However, if men do have signs and symptoms, they may include:

  • Pain in penis
  • Burning while urinating or after ejaculation

When to see a physician

 If you're having irritation, weird discharge, painful urination, or showing any other signs of trich, you must get your medical checkup done. Testing is also a good idea if someone you've had sex with gets trich (even if you don't have symptoms). If you have a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, or if you have discomfort during urination or sexual intercourse, see the doctor.

How is Trichomoniasis diagnosed?

Trichomoniasis can be diagnosed by looking at a sample of vaginal fluid for women or urine for men under a microscope. If the parasite can be seen under the microscope, no further tests are needed. If this test isn't conclusive, tests called rapid antigen tests and nucleic acid amplification may be used.

Trichomoniasis Causes

A one-celled protozoan, a type of tiny parasite that spreads among people during sexual intercourse, causes trichomoniasis. The incubation period is unclear between exposure and infection, but it is believed to be between 4 and 28 days.

Trichomoniasis can increase the risk of getting or spreading other sexually transmitted infections. For example, trichomoniasis can cause genital inflammation that makes it easier to get infected with HIV, or to pass the HIV virus on to a sex partner.

 Trichomoniasis Risk Factors

Trichomoniasis comes along with numerous risk factors. Here’s a list of the major risk factors accompanied with trichomoniasis:

  • Multiple sexual partners - People with multiple casual relationships have a higher chance of contracting Trich.
  • A history of other infections transmitted by sex - Former partners may have the risk of trich symptoms not being visible and thus, spreading the infection to others.
  • Having sex without a protection like the use of condom - Indulging in sexual intercourse without using a condom severly increases the probability of getting infected with Trichomoniasis.

Complications of Trichomoniasis

Trich transmission makes way for other complications like an easier contraction of other STIs. Not just this, as mentioned earlier, the disease can increase the risk of getting HIV too. Moreover, there is a higher chance of HIV being transmitted to someone else as well.

Other health complications include chlamydia, gonorrhea and bacterial vaginosis which often occur along with trich.

Pregnant women suffering from trichomoniasis may suffer from the following complications:

  • Have a low-birthweight infant
  • The infection may pass on to the infant when he or she passes through the birth canal.

What are the Ways of  Trichomoniasis Prevention

  1. Use condoms
    Like any sexually transmitted infection (STI), the best way to prevent trichomoniasis is to have safe sex. This means always using a condom.
  2. Get tested

Be sure that  you and your partner are tested for STIs to avoid any such diseases.

  • Be monogamous.

Avoid mating with multiple partners at the same time.

  • Limit your number of sex partners.

Trichomoniasis treatment

Some people with symptoms of trich get them within 5 to 28 days after being infected, but others do not develop symptoms until much later. Symptoms can come and go, and without treatment, the infection can last for months or even years. Trichomoniasis can be cured with a single dose of prescription antibiotic medication (either metronidazole or tinidazole), pills which can be taken by mouth. It is okay for pregnant women to take this medication.

Conclusion

Trichomoniasis, much of the time, is super easy to get rid of. To treat the infection, the nurse or doctor will prescribe antibiotics: either metronidazole or tinidazole. Usually, you only need to take one dose of medication, which means you take all of the medicine at once. It's very necessary for your sexual partners to get screened if you are treated for trichomoniasis, too. Having said that, it is important to understand that medical conditions like these could result in unwanted hospitalization or hefty medical expenses. So, ensure that you are adequately covered, when it comes to managing these costs. The best possible way to do so is to get a health insurance plan.  

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