Trichomoniasis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite. It spreads from person to person during sex. Trichomoniasis is among the most common sexually transmitted infections. It can increase the risk of getting or spreading other sexually transmitted diseases.
Trichomoniasis is found worldwide and can affect both men and women.
What causes trichomoniasis?
The parasite Trichomonas vaginalis cause trichomoniasis. It is spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?
Many people with trichomoniasis do not have any symptoms. If symptoms occur, they usually happen within 5 to 28 days after being infected. The infection often does not cause symptoms in men and goes away on its own in a few weeks.
The following symptoms may occur in women with trichomoniasis:
- Discomfort with intercourse
- Itching of the inner thighs
- Thin, greenish-yellow, frothy or foamy vaginal discharge
- Vaginal or vulvar itching
- Swelling of the labia
- Vaginal odor (foul or strong smell)
The following symptoms may occur in men with trichomoniasis:
- Burning after urination or ejaculation
- Itching of urethra
- Slight discharge from the urethra
Occasionally, some men with trichomoniasis may develop the following conditions:
- Prostatitis (swelling and irritation in the prostate gland).
- Epididymitis (swelling in the epididymis, the tube that connects the testicle with the vas deferens. The vas deferens connects the testicles to the urethra.
How is trichomoniasis diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a pelvic exam and review the symptoms.
In women, during the pelvic examination, the doctor may find red blotches on the vaginal wall or cervix. Examination of the vaginal discharge under a microscope may show signs of inflammation or infection-causing germs. The doctor may perform a Pap smear to diagnose the condition.
In men, it is very difficult to diagnose the disease, as there are no symptoms. Usually, men are treated if the infection is diagnosed in any of their sexual partners. They may also be treated if they keep having symptoms of urethral burning or itching, even after getting treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
How is trichomoniasis treated?
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat trichomoniasis.
The doctor may ask you to avoid sexual intercourse until you have finished treatment.
Your sexual partners should also be treated even if they have no symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you should be screened for other STIs.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.