Trichomonas vaginalis is a small organism that causes the sexually transmitted disease or STD Trichomoniasis. The disease often affects women, but men can also get infected and through sexual intercourse pass the infection to their partners.
Sexually active young women are often infected with this common and very curable STD.
Most of the time men are not aware that they are already infected with Trichomoniasis as they do not show any symptoms. They will only be surprised to find out that they are infected when their partners need treatment. If ever symptoms happen, they may include:
- Slight burning after ejaculation or urination
- Irritation inside the penis
- Small discharge
Women do show symptoms and they include:
- Pain in the lower stomach (rare)
- Pain during urination
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal discharges of foul-smelling of frothy and greenish-yellow fluid
These symptoms are usually experienced from five to 28 days after exposure.
A lab test and a physical exam performed by a doctor are the ways to diagnose Trichomoniasis. Samples of urethral fluid or vaginal fluid undergo lab tests to determine the presence of the parasite that causes the disease. It is harder to detect the parasite in men than in women.
An oral antibiotic drug such as metronidazole is given as a way of treating Trichomoniasis. Should an infected person be pregnant at the time she is infected, it will be the only drug used to treat the condition.
Reinfection and spread of the disease could be prevented when your partner is also treated with you at the same time. Sex should be avoided until both or all sex partners have completed treatment and do not show symptoms anymore. The entire course of antibiotics has to be finished even when you feel fine.
Pregnant women infected with Trichomoniasis could develop premature rupturing of the membranes which protects the baby and lead to early delivery date. An increased risk of getting infected with HIV will also be one of the developments because of the genital inflammation caused by Trichomoniasis. A woman infected with Trichomoniasis and HIV at the same time has a higher chance of transmitting the infections to her sex partner.
The risk of acquiring Trichomoniasis infection is reduced when:
- See a doctor once you feel that you are already infected
- Practice safe sex by using a condom to all sexual activity
- Limit sex relations to one uninfected partner or abstain from sex
- Avoid going back and forth between sex partners, and limit the number of sex partners.
An unusual rash or sore or any genital symptoms such as discharges or burning sensation when urinating should be reasons enough to stop engaging in sexual activities and seek immediate help from a medical practitioner. Once informed that you have Trichomoniasis or any other STD infection and get treatment, you should inform all your current sex partners so they can also be tested, receive counseling from a doctor, and receive treatment. This will also help to contain the spread of the infection.