Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection, also known as “trich” caused by the protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis. Both men and women are at risk of developing the condition if they have unprotected sex or sex with an infected partner. Trichomoniasis is so common that an estimated 7.4 million people get this condition each year. However, the infection often causes no symptoms, but this doesn’t mean it is harmless. Without effective treatment, dangerous complications can result.
Trichomoniasis is a curable infection, and you can again become infected if you have sex with an infected person. Women are more prone to this condition as compared to men. The highest number of cases occurs in women aged between 16 and 35. However, the infection in men lasts only for a short time and primarily affects the urinary tract.
How Trichomoniasis is contracted?
Trichomoniasis spread primarily through vaginal sex. Studies show that the infection spreads through mutual masturbation, but the evidence points towards the vaginal intercourse. During sex, the parasite is passed from an infected person to an uninfected person. In women, this vaginal infection is passed through the lower genital tract, including vulva, vagina, or urethra, and in men, the commonly infected body part is the inside of the penis (urethra). The parasite is transmitted during sex from a penis to vagina, or from a vagina to another vagina.
Though, it’s not common for the parasite to infect other body parts, like the hands, mouth, or anus. But, it is still unclear why some people with trichomoniasis get symptoms while others don’t. Studies have shown the symptoms depend on various factors including the person’s age and overall health. However, infected people without any symptoms can also pass the infection to others.
Symptoms of trichomoniasis condition:
An estimated 30% of infected people with Trichomoniasis show any signs or symptoms. Trichomoniasis symptoms can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation. Various people experience symptoms within five to 28 days after being infected, whereas others don’t develop any symptoms until much later. The symptoms of trichomoniasis may improve or even go away and then return to some people if left untreated for long. Below are the symptoms experienced by infected people:
Symptoms of trichomoniasis in women:
- Greenish-yellow vaginal dscharge with strong odor
- Itching in or around the vagina
- Pain during sex
- Painful urination
- Abdominal pain (rare)
Symptoms of trichomoniasis in men:
- Pain while urination
- Urethral discharge
- Pain and swelling in the scrotum
- Burning sensation after urination or ejaculation
Genital inflammation in women due to Trichomoniasis makes them prone to an increased risk of HIV infection. It has also been reported that Trichomoniasis infection in HIV-positive women increases the risk of passing the HIV to male sexual partners.
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Diagnosing, treating and preventing Trichomoniasis:
Diagnosis of the disease is very important and for this the doctor may perform a pelvic test to look for spots or lesions inside the vagina or on the cervix. The doctor may also perform a Pap smear and Vaginal Discharge Examination with a microscope to confirm the Trichomoniasis infection. However, in men Trichomoniasis infection is confirmed by taking a sample from the urethra.
Your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic drug, Metronidazole to treat the condition. Before taking this drug the patient must make sure to let your doctor know if you are planning to get pregnant or not, because the drug could harm the fetus. In order to prevent Trichomoniasis infection you can follow the below-mentioned tips:
- Use a condom every time you have sex
- Abstaining from sex
- Never share undergarments or bathing suits with an infected person
- Limit the number of sexual partners, prefer being monogamous
Symptoms of Trichomoniasis can be easily controlled if detected early. Treatment and prevention of Trichomoniasis are also simple and easy, and can help protect you from a number of other sexually transmitted infections. If you test positive for the condition, you should notify all of your recent sex partners so that they can see a doctor and get treated.
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