Trichomoniasis (also called trich) is the most common, curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) in young, sexually active women. An estimated 7.4 million new cases occur each year in women and men
Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasitic protozoa called Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomoniasis may cause symptoms in women, but most men do not have symptoms. You may need to talk to your doctor or health care provider about whether or not you should be tested. Having trichomoniasis makes it easier to get and pass HIV, so treatment is important.
While trichomoniasis affects both women and men, symptoms are more common in women. Most men with trichomoniasis do not have any signs or symptoms. However, some men may have a temporary irritation inside the penis, mild discharge, or notice a slight burning after peeing (urinating) or ejaculating. Some women may have signs or symptoms which include:
• discharge that is green, yellow or grey
• a bad smell
• itching in or around the vagina
• pain during sex
• pain when peeing (urinating)
If you have symptoms of trichomoniasis, see your healthcare provider for a correct diagnosis since a physical examination and a laboratory test must be performed to diagnose the infection. The parasite is harder to detect in men than in women. General tips for women to help their provider find out what they may have include:
• Schedule the exam when you're not having your monthly period.
• Don't douche 24 hours before your exam.
• Don't use vaginal sprays 24 hours before your exam.
• If you have sex less than 24 hours before the exam, use condoms.
A wet mount may be done to determine whether a woman has trichomoniasis. A sample of discharge is put on a slide with saline solution and looked at under a microscope. This can be done in the health care provider's office. The health care provider may examine the pH level of vaginal discharge, since an abnormal pH may be a sign of trichomoniasis.
Trichomoniasis is curable with antibiotics, typically Metronidazole (Flagyl). If you are being treated for trichomoniosis, keep these facts in mind:
• Use all the medicine prescribed, even if your symptoms go away
• Sex partners must also be treated, or you will get trich again
• Do not have sex until all partners have finished the medication
What about pregnancy?
Trichomoniasis can cause babies to be born early or with low birth weight. If you think you may be pregnant be sure to tell your health care provider. Women in the first three months of pregnancy should not take medicine for trich because it might hurt the baby. You can take medicine after the first three months. Talk to your health care provider about them.
Posted by Fredo